Eight arrested over fatal Rohingya boat capsize

Cox's Bazar Correspondent
Published : 15:05, Feb 12, 2020 | Updated : 15:15, Feb 12, 2020

aaPolice in Bangladesh have made eight arrests over the fatal Rohingya boat capsize in the Bay of Bengal while the coast guard has started a case against 19 people.

At least 15 Rohingyas, all of them women and children, died after a small wooden trawler sank off the St Martin's Island coast near Cox's Bazar early morning Tuesday (Feb 12).

Bangladesh Coast Guard rescued at least 73 people but passengers estimated there were about 130 people on board.

On Wednesday (Feb 13), the coast guard started a case with the local Teknaf police in Cox's Bazar, the southeastern district which now hosts over 1 million Rohingya refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar's Rakhine.

Charges have been brought against 19 people, said Teknaf police OC Pradip Kumar before adding eight people, including Rohingyas and Bangladesh nationals, have been arrested between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar that have faced decades of sanctioned discrimination.

More than 730,000 Rohingya left Myanmar after a military campaign against them in 2017 and have since lived in crowded camps on the border of Bangladesh.

Smugglers seeking to offer illegal journeys to Malaysia, which has a Muslim majority population, are commonly found in the refugee camps in Bangladesh.