Murder leaves Rohingya camps gripped by fear

Restore law and order in the camps

We are deeply concerned at the soaring tensions between locals and Rohingyas in Teknaf’s Hnila union, following the murder of a local ruling party official at a refugee camp in the area on Thursday. Reportedly, the victim was shot dead by members of a Rohingya criminal gang.

The murder has triggered violent protests as disgruntled locals vandalised and blockaded the Jadimura Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf. Reportedly, hundreds of agitated locals have stormed a Rohingya camp and vandalized makeshift houses and NGO offices following the murder. They burned tyres and plastic boxes to block a five-kilometre road from the Teknaf municipality to Leda Point for three hours on Friday. Many fled the camp during the five-hour long demonstrations with protesters blaming 'Rohingya criminals' for the incident.

It is high time that the authorities concerned 

beef up security as much as possible and

 catch the perpetrators especially the 

gangs that are carrying out criminal activities

This certainly reflects the chaotic situation prevailing in these areas where the life and livelihood of locals have been overwhelmed due to the persistent presence of Rohingya refugees. However, following the incident both locals and Rohingya refugees are feeling insecure which could worsen the already strained relations between locals and Rohingyas. 

Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar have turned into hotbeds of crime. Criminal gangs, active in the camps, often lock into bloody confrontations over control of markets, Yaba smuggling, and human trafficking. Forty-three Rohingyas were killed in the last two years in internal conflicts among these gangs while 32 others died in gunfights with security forces. Nearly 1,100 Rohingyas have been accused in 471 cases – 208 of them related to narcotics – since the influx began in late August 2017, 

It is a situation that is inevitable when thousands of desperate people are forced to stay in cramped, unhygienic conditions for months on end. It is high time that the authorities concerned beef up security as much as possible and catch the perpetrators especially the gangs that are carrying out criminal activities. Considering the prevailing situation in the refugee camps, authorities concerned should take immediate actions to establish law and order in the Rohingya camps and surrounding areas. The authorities should do the needful to restrain locals from taking law into their own hands.