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Six Rohingya minors held in Tripura

Agartala: Tripura police on Saturday night arrested six Rohingya refugees, all of them minors, from Dharmanagar railway station in North Tripura district, with preliminary investigations suggesting they had crossed the border with Bangladesh to enter India.

Superintendent of police (control) Pradip De said the six were suspected to be Rohingya Muslims from Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where the community has faced what the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has called “ethnic cleansing”.

De said all six were aged between 14 and 17 and had crossed the India-Bangladesh border at Sonamura, 87km from here.

Tripura shares an 856km-long border with Bangladesh. According to the police, Rohingya refugees often use the neighbouring nation as a corridor to enter Indian soil.

They six were on Sunday produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate’s court, which sent them to two juvenile homes till January 24.

Eight Rohingya refugees had earlier been arrested from the Khayerpur bazaar area in West Tripura district, 10km from Agartala, in November last year, while they were en route to Bangladesh. Four others were previously detained in the state in 2017.

Myanmar’s government had cancelled the nationality of Rohingya Muslims under the provisions of the Burma Citizenship Law, 1982. Many have fled the county since then, with lakhs living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Many others have taken shelter in India too.

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