Thousands of Rohingya – hungry, tired and traumatised from their harrowing experience in Myanmar and arduous journey to Bangladesh – have continued to gather at Teknaf's Shahporir Dwip to flee persecution in Rakhine state which the UN has labelled as ethnic cleansing.
In the last four days, nearly 6,500 Rohingya men, women and children have landed there. Many of them, having lost their parents, children and relatives, were still haunted by the painful memories.
Members of the Bangladesh army were collecting information of the refuge seekers who were taken to Hariakhali Government Primary School in Teknaf's Sabrang union. From there, they were given aid and sent to various camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf.
Dos Mohammad, 35, came from Maungdaw's Sikdar Para with five members of his family. He crossed the river on a boat with 25 others Wednesday morning. He had to pay Tk10,000 for the ride.
Mariam Begum, waiting for relief on the school grounds, said the Myanmar army was continuing its persecution in Rakhine state. They torched houses couple of days ago. She said she was happy to have made it to Bangladesh with other members of her family.
But Abdullah was not so fortunate. The man from Ghonapara said he had to leave behind his parents and siblings. He crossed the Naf River with his two sons, daughter and wife.
“About a week ago, the army told us not to escape. But later, they made mass arrests and killed people. They raped and murdered the women and set our houses on fire,” he said, visibly shaken and exhausted.
Myanmar army's violent offensive targeting the Rohingya followed insurgent attacks on police posts and an army base on August 25. More than half a million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since then.
The military and local mob have been burning and looting Rohingya villages while raping and killing their residents.
Buddhist-majority Myanmar has institutionalised discrimination against the mainly-Muslim ethnic group, which it does not recognise and see as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Before the latest influx, Bangladesh already hosted around 400,000 Rohingya. Dhaka has been successfully building up global support to compel Naypyitaw to allow the Rohingya to return home.