Eighteen Rohingyas from Myanmar, including three children and four women who had entered India illegally, were on Thursday apprehended in western Tripura, a police official said.
According to the Khowai district police chief Krishnendu Chakraborty, the 18 Rohingyas were arrested in Khowai district’s Teliamura — 70 km north of Agartala, he added.
They were later taken to the Teliamura Police Station for questioning.
“We are yet to get exact details on their presence in Tripura. The intruders are being questioned by senior police and intelligence officials. They would be produced in a local court soon,” Chakraborty said
Another police official said that the Rohingyas entered the state on Wednesday and were trying to go to Delhi in search of jobs.
The Rohingyas from Myanmar have illegally entered Tripura and a few other northeastern states via Bangladesh in the past in search of work. But, subsequently they were pushed back following legal and security formalities.
Over 670,000 Rohingyas, a mainly Muslim minority living in Myanmar, have fled the northwestern province of Rakhine since the end of August last year after a wave of persecution and violence that the United Nations described as an attempt at “ethnic cleansing”. Efforts are on to repatriate them to their homeland in Myanmar.
Border Security Force (BSF) Tripura Frontier Inspector General S.R. Ojha told the media that since 2015, many Rohingyas entered Tripura and other northeastern states via Bangladesh.
Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh, most of which is fenced except a stretch of nearly 20 km.
Other than Tripura, the other states sharing the 1,880-km international border with Bangladesh are Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km).