Dozens of Rohingya flee India for Bangladesh: officials

Members of a Muslim Rohingya family sit as they pose for a photograph with Indian and Myanmar security officials before their deportation on India-Myanmar border at Moreh in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, January 3, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 09 January 2019

Dozens of Rohingya flee India for Bangladesh: officials

  • Bangladesh border officials and police said dozens of Rohingya had been detained crossing from India in the past week

DHAKA: Dozens of Rohingya Muslims have crossed the border into Bangladesh from India in recent days, officials said Tuesday, as New Delhi faces censure for deporting the persecuted minority to Myanmar.
Last week India handed a Rohingya family of five to Myanmar authorities, despite the army there being accused of genocide against the stateless group.
The forced return — the second in recent months — was criticized by the United Nations and rights groups who accused India of disregarding international law and sending the Rohingya to danger.
India, which is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, arrested 230 Rohingya in 2018 — the most in years as Hindu hard-liners called for the displaced Muslims to be deported en masse.
Bangladesh border officials and police said dozens of Rohingya had been detained crossing from India in the past week. They were sent to refugee camps in the country’s south, where a million of the displaced Muslims live in hardship.
The round-ups in India, and fear of deportation to Myanmar, had fueled the recent exodus, Bangladesh officials said.
“They told us they panicked after India started detaining Rohingya refugees and deporting them to Myanmar,” said Shahjahan Kabir, a police chief in the eastern Bangladeshi border town of Brahmanpara.
He told AFP that 17 Rohingya were detained last Thursday after crossing into Bangladesh, followed by 31 at a different border point. Most had been living in India for up to six years, Kabir added.
In Cox’s Bazar, a border district where some 720,000 Rohingya have sought refuge from a Myanmar army crackdown in August 2017, local officials said at least 57 had arrived in recent days.
“They have come from places like Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir,” said Rezaul Karim, government administrator of the giant Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. Hyderabad is a major city in southern India and Jammu and Kashmir the only Muslim-majority territory under Indian control.
For decades the Rohingya have faced persecution and pogroms in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which refuses to recognize them as citizens and falsely labels them “Bengali” illegal immigrants.
They were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicenter of a brutal Myanmar army offensive in August 2017 that UN investigators described as genocidal in intent.
Amnesty International, among other rights groups, has blasted India for forcibly repatriating the Rohingya to Myanmar when persecution in Rakhine is ongoing.
Dozens of Rohingya were also deported from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh at the weekend, reported the London-based Middle East Eye website.
Indian officials say around 40,000 Rohingya are living in India. The United Nations refugee agency says around 18,000 Rohingya are registered with the UNHCR.


British airports to introduce 3D screening for carry-on bags

UK Border control is seen in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London June 4, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 3 min 45 sec ago

British airports to introduce 3D screening for carry-on bags

  • The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said

LONDON: Putting small containers of liquids in plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past for airline passengers in Britain after the government announced plans Sunday to introduce 3D screening equipment for carry-on luggage at all major airports.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement that the new technology will improve security and could also mean “an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.”
Under current security restrictions, passengers are not allowed containers carrying more than 100 milliliters (3.38 fluid ounces) of liquids in their carry-on luggage and the containers have to be in a clear plastic bag.
That could come to an end under the new screening regime and passengers may also be able to keep electrical equipment such as their laptops in their cabin bags.
The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said.
Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye says the technology “will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport.”