Rohingya Hindu Refugees In Bangladesh Want To Return To Myanmar: Report

Rohingya Hindu Refugees In Bangladesh Want To Return To Myanmar: Report

LOS ANGELES: Rohingya Hindus, who sought refuge in Bangladesh, want to return to Myanmar but are not being allowed by Bangladesh officials, American daily Los Angeles Times reported.

In a report from the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, the newspaper said on Wednesday that 105 Hindu families were ready to leave when a deal was made by the UN last May, for refugees to return home to Rakhine state in Myanmar. Instead, they are stranded in Bangladesh because UN decided it was not safe for them to go back to Myanmar, Hindu refugees were quoted as telling the newspaper.

The 400 Hindu refugees in Bangladesh are segregated and housed in a separate facility called Hindu Camp, which is under round-the-clock security.

The Los Angeles Times said that Hindu families have also appealed to the Indian government for help, but have so far received only humanitarian aid.

Unlike the more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, the Hindus have Myanmar citizenship, the newspaper said.

The report said that the Bangladesh's Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission has ruled out repatriating only the Hindus, and not the Muslims, whose return the UN has determined was unsafe. "We treat all refugees the same way and will not be prioritising repatriation of the Hindu refugees over Rohingya Muslims," Shamimul Huq Pavel, the commission official who oversees a separate camp for Hindu, told the Los Angeles Times.

The exodus of the Rohingya to Bangladesh began in August 2017 when the ARSA attacked security posts in Myanmar and the security forces and vigilantes retaliated by killing hundreds of Muslims and destroying their villages.

The UN has condemned the security forces' response to the ARSA attacks as disproportionate and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called it "ethnic cleansing".

However, the Hindus were attacked by ARSA unlike the Muslim refugees who were victims of security forces and vigilantes, the report said.

Amnesty International, that verified the the ARSA attacks, said in a report last May that 99 Hindu children, women and men had been killed.