The BSF on Saturday rebuffed claims made by the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) that it was deliberately pushing Rohingyas into their territory. A Bangladesh-based newspaper had on Friday reported that the Border Security Force (BSF) was trying to force 31 Rohingyas into their country from the Kasba Upazilas Kajiatali border area in Brahmanbaria. The area falls in Tripura's Kamalasagar in Sipahijala district, about 32 km from Agartala.
Terming the allegations as false and baseless, the BSF Tripura Frontier in a statement said that on January 18, at about 8.30 pm, Lt Col Gomal Kabir, Commanding Officer of BGB called BSF Commandant Ratnesh Kumar and informed him that they had detained 31 Rohingya Muslims at the International Border.
"Commanding Officer 25 BGB insisted the BSF Commandant to take over those Rohingyas inside the Indo-Bangladesh Border (IBB) fencing. Commanding Officer BGB also alleged that BSF has been pushing Rohingyas into Bangladesh territory," the statement said.
"BSF strictly denies any such attempt and refutes the allegation as published in Bangladesh media," the statement added. The BSF further said that during search and spot verification, no tell-tale signs of any such type of illegal crossing of Rohingyas from Indian territory to Bangladesh side were found.
BSF said that it has learnt from reliable sources that the BGB has brought a group of Rohingyas from the interior of Kasba Upazila and falsely shown them to have been detained near the border pillar "under a specific strategic plan".
When contacted, a BSF Public Relation Officer on condition of anonymity said, "The allegation is completely false and baseless and BSF has no such plan or never had any such plan earlier". He said in 2017, 12 Rohingyas were apprehended and in the following year another 62 were held from different parts of Tripura, but not a single one of them was pushed to Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh newspaper had reported that BGB had confirmed the presence of Rohingyas in no man's land on the Indian side. "BSF is gathering a huge number of Rohingyas on the border area in a number of trucks. BGB and local villagers are on high alert about the matter," Kabir was quoted as saying in the newspaper report.