Five Rohingya men have been arrested in connection with the killing of a prominent community leader in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, police said on Sunday.
The killers’ links to militant outfit Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), as his family suspected, are being probed, a police officer told IANS.
Mohibullah, a high-profile figurehead for the nearly one million Rohingya refugees and chair of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), was killed by unknown gunmen late on Wednesday in his room at Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar district.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, said: “Mohib Ullah was vocal about Rohingya repatriation. Investigation is underway to find out the main cause of Mohib Ullah’s murder and his killers will be brought to book soon.”
The United Nations and the US have condemned the killing of Rohingya refugee leader and called on Bangladeshi authorities to investigate
Mohib Ullah, who was in his late 40s, led one of the largest of several community groups to emerge since more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar after a military crackdown in August 2017.
“The UN urges the Bangladeshi authorities to undertake an investigation and to hold those responsible to account,” UN spokesperson Stephanie Tremblay told a press briefing in New York on Thursday.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “saddened and disturbed” by Mohib Ullah’s murder, calling him “a brave and fierce advocate for the human rights of Rohingya Muslims around the world.”
“We urge a full and transparent investigation into his death with the goal of holding the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable,” Blinken said in a statement.
After a meeting on Sharadiyo Durgo Utsab security arrangements at the Home Ministry’s conference room on Sunday, Kamal said: “Construction work is underway to erect a barbed wire fence around the Rohingya camps, which will be completed in a few days. The government has also been setting up watchtowers at Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar aimed at ensuring security.”
“The law and order situation of the Rohingya camps is still good as our law enforcement forces are doing a good job in coordination with the army.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister, Dr A.K. Abdul Momen suspected that some vested quarters killed the Rohingya leader as Mohib Ullah wanted them to return to Myanmar, their land of origin. Bangladesh would take stern action against those who were related to this Rohingya leader’s murder, he said.
Police also told IANS that militant wings of Jamaat-e-Islam and radical Islamists are active in arms trade and drug trade in Rohingya camps of Cox’s Bazar, which cause regular gunfights between rival groups in the camps.
Eight Rohingya were killed in a week on first week of October last year, while two Rohingyas were killed in a reported gunfight between two rival groups in a camp in Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar on October 4, 2020. The gunfight erupted between two groups of Rohingya drug dealers and arms traders over establishing supremacy in the area, said Samsuddoza Nayan, additional repatriation, rehabilitation, and relief officer of the government after the incident.