Hefazat chief Shafi urges all to stand by Rohingyas


The Myanmar government said its security forces are carrying out clearance operations in northern Rakhine to defend the country from "extremist terrorists", while activists accused it of persecuting the Rohingya.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to neighbour Myanmar from September 5 to 7, India on Friday said it was "greatly concerned" at the situation in the Rakhine province of that country where fighting is on between the Myanmar security forces and Rohingya insurgents.

Meanwhile, authorities in neighboring Bangladesh reported three refugee boats that turned and sank into the Naf River on a trip from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

The plea filed by two Rohingya immigrants said they were facing persecution in Myanmar and the decision to send them back was in violation of worldwide conventions. "We are deeply saddened at the loss of lives among members of the Myanmar security forces..."

"As Burmese security forces act to prevent further violence, they have a responsibility to adhere to worldwide humanitarian law, which includes refraining from attacking innocent civilians and humanitarian workers and ensuring assistance reaches those in need", Haley said. "When huge waves tilted the boat, we panicked", Shah Karim said.

Most Rohingya are denied citizenship and other rights the country's Buddhist majority enjoy, living in abject poverty with little access to aid.

Bangladesh already hosts 400,000 Rohingya and does not want more.

More than 400 Hindu residents of Rakhine state crossed into Bangladesh after being attacked by armed men, officials and survivors said.

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on September 4 a plea against deportation of illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants to Myanmar on several grounds, including violation of global human rights conventions.

The violence left at least 110 people dead, including 11 state officials.

The Centre had directed the state governments to set up a task force at district level to identify and deport illegally-staying foreign nationals.

On Thursday, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, expressed concern "that many thousands of people are increasingly at risk of grave violations of their human rights".

Bangladesh has recently stopped thousands of Rohingyas on the border, saying it is no longer capable of hosting the refugees.

While border guards on the Bangladeshi side try to keep them out they often relent when pressured.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government said last month it was going to expel all Rohingya, even those registered with the United Nations refugee agency, drawing criticism from aid groups and some politicians.

"We did not push them back, rather we told them. you should go back to your territory", added Khan, who said there was a "humanitarian crisis" developing along the border.