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Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh forces mobile phone ban on Rohingya Muslim refugees

It is the latest restriction imposed on the Rohingya who have fled in huge numbers from violence in neighbouring Rakhine state into squalid camps in Bangladesh's southernmost Cox' Bazar district in the past four weeks.


By   |  Updated On : September 24, 2017 04:52 PM
Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh forces mobile phone ban on Rohingya muslim refugees

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh forces mobile phone ban on Rohingya muslim refugees

New Delhi :  

Due to the security concern, Bangladesh has banned telecommunication companies from selling mobile phone connections to Rohingya refugees. During the ban phase, if any Bangladesh mobile phone provider will give phone plans to nearly 430,000 newly arrived refugees from Myanmar will be fine. 

Junior telecoms minister Tarana Halim has justified the ban, saying that the decision to impose a communication blackout on the stateless Muslim minority has done because of security reasons.

Within six months the ban will be lifted as biometric identity cards are issued to the newly arrived refugees.

It is the latest restriction imposed on the Rohingya who have fled in huge numbers from violence in neighbouring Rakhine state into squalid camps in Bangladesh's southernmost Cox' Bazar district in the past four weeks.

The nearly 430,000 refugees have been herded by the military into a handful of overstretched camps near the border, where tens of thousands live in the open without shelter.

Also Read: BSF uses local intel, language skills to curb Rohingya influx

Many have been evicted from squatting in forest and farmlands by police and soldiers, who have been ordered to keep the Rohingya from seeking shelter in major cities and nearby towns.

Roadblocks have been erected along major routes from the camp zones, where a dire shortage of food, water, shelter and toilets is creating what aid groups describe as a humanitarian crisis.

Some 5,100 have already been stopped at these checkpoints and returned to the designated camps, police said.

"We have set up 11 check posts across the Cox's Bazar highway to stop the Rohingya refugees from spreading further toward the interior," Cox's Bazar police chief Iqbal Hossain told reporters.

Also Read: Rohingyas not refugees because they did not follow due process: Rajnath Singh

First Published: Sunday, September 24, 2017 04:03 PM

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