Teknaf, Bangladesh: Ten people drowned after a rowboat capsized in the Naf River following heavy rain and winds in the morning of September 28. The boat was carrying 12 people. Of the two survivors one reached the Burma side while the other, a woman who reached Bangladesh was gang raped by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel, said a local from Sabrang union in Teknaf upazila.
The rowboat was trying to enter Bangladesh illegally following an understanding with Burma’s border security force (Nasaka), he added.
According to Sub-inspector (SI) Mizanur Rahman of the Teknaf police station, police recovered two bodies of women from Naf River near the sluice gate at Jhinapara under Sabrang union in Teknaf upazila on September 28 evening. They believed they were Burmese nationals coming to Bangladesh.
According to the locals in Burma Nasaka fished out six bodies from the Naf River between September 28 and 29 while one person was found alive.
From Bangladesh side, local people from Teknaf area said two more bodies were recovered on September 29.
On other hand, some locals in Sabrang said according to the victims that in the morning after the boat capsized, two persons (brother and sister) reached the shore of Sabrang. They began searching for their mother who was with them in the boat. They did not find their mother, so the brother again jumped into the river but did not return. At that moment BDR personnel on patrol came to the spot and found the young woman. They gang raped her.
Some locals from the Sabrang saw the woman on the bank of Naf River in a helpless condition, and took her to Teknaf.
“We see the BDR as our security force meant to protect us, but now they are seen as rapists. Why should we want them in our area to rape our sisters, mothers and daughters? We don’t want them in our place,” said a local elder from Sabrang.
“The Arakanese Rohingya Muslims are facing myriad persecutions where they have no safe place in their homeland Burma and they try to find safety in Bangladesh, but here also they don’t get it,” said social worker from Teknaf.