Myanmar deploys army: it fire shots near Rohingya camp, BGB put on high alert

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Desk report, Mar 2: The Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka Lwin Oo over deployment of troops and artillery on border areas and lodged its protest strongly.

Meanwhile, the Burmese soldiers have fired shots in the air hours after Dhaka protested against deployment of additional troops.

The members of Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB) have been put on high alert as Myanmar Army took position along Tambru border in Naikkhongchhari of Bandarban with heavy arms and ammunition on Thursday.

Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam called the Myanmar envoy at his office and handed over a protest note, an official at the Foreign Ministry told UNB.

“They’ve brought troops and artillery on border areas. This is a violation and we protested it,” the official said.

The Foreign Ministry conveyed concerns of Bangladesh on the military build-up around the border pillar No. 34 near the Tambru border area where several thousand Myanmar residents have been staying on the zero line.

Khurshed Alam conveyed to the Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka that such military build-up will create confusion within Bangladesh and escalate tensions on the border.

He told the Ambassador to convey to the Myanmar authorities for the immediate pullback of Myanmar security forces along with military assets from the area, said the Foreign Ministry.

The Acting Foreign Secretary also expressed the concern that such event may hamper repatriation process which both sides agreed to implement.

A diplomatic note on the subject was handed over to the Ambassador.

Sources at the Foreign Ministry said some Rohingyas are living on the zero line along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border and they did not enter Bangladesh crossing the line. “It seems that the Myanmar troops are trying to create fear among them. We protested it,” another official said.

The members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been put on high alert as Myanmar Border Police (BGP) took position along Tumru border in Naikhongchhari in Bandarban with heavy arms and ammunition on Thursday, said Additional Director General (operation and training) of BGB Brig Gen MujiburRahman.

“Deploying army with heavy arms and ammunition on border goes against the border norms. We’re on high alert and observing their activities,” he told a press briefing at BGB headquarters.

“BGB is always ready to perform its duty for the sake of the motherland if any serious situation is created. However, no alarming situation has been created yet…the situation is under control till now,” he added.

A good number of Rohingyas gathered near zero point of the Myanmar border in the last one month where the BGP members are setting up barbed wire, advance technological surveillance equipment, he said.

BGB has sent a protest note to the BGP and asked for a flag meeting in this regard, Mujibur said.

Myanmar’s Border Guard Police or BGP personnel fired two shots in the air on their side of the Tambru border at Naikkhyangchharhi in Bandarban around 8pm on Thursday, a Border Guard Bangladesh or BGB official said.

“We also heard a hullabaloo in the Rohingya camp on the zero line at the time. No one was injured,” BGB 34 Battalion Commander Lt Col Manjurul Hasan told media.

Around 17,000 Rohingyas have been living in no man’s land between the countries, including nearly 7,000 in Tambru, since Myanmar launched a military operation dubbed “ethnic cleansing” in the Rakhine State on Aug 25 last year.