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Awami League alert to Jamaat exploiting Rohingya crisis

  • Published at 02:01 pm September 24th, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:24 pm September 24th, 2017
Awami League alert to Jamaat exploiting Rohingya crisis
The Awami League (AL), its associate organisations and 14-party alliance members are concerned that Jamaat-e-Islami and other Islamist groups are trying to exploit the Rohingya refugees for political reasons. Jamaat has a strong organisational presence in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong. Hundreds of its supporters and activists are currently in the area where the Rohingya have taken shelter, local political leaders told the Dhaka Tribune. They added that Jamaat and other Islamist groups are trying to influence the refugees while distributing relief and providing healthcare. Leaders of AL and the 14-party have alleged on several occasions that the Islamist groups are trying to use the Rohingya crisis for political gain. They told the Dhaka Tribune: “Bangladesh provided shelter to the Rohingya refugees for humanitarian reasons. There is no scope for anyone to do politics on this issue. If anyone tries to do so, the AL and the local administration will prevent it at any cost.” On the other hand, a leader of Chittagong district Chhatra Shibir, requesting anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Jamaat and Shibir have a strong organisational structure in Cox’s Bazar. They are trying to help the Rohingya through its associate organisations as the party’s activities are monitored by the government and law enforcement. “We are working in the shadows. Our activists have posed as doctors and relief workers,” he added.
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The AL-led alliance has also expressed concern about the possibility of militants and extremists entering Bangladesh, disguised as Rohingya refugees. Ruling party leaders held a meeting at the party office in Dhanmondi on Saturday to discuss the issue. At the meeting, AL Presidium Member Kazi Zafar Ullah said: “We are trying to resolve the crisis through diplomatic means.” The party’s Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahman MP then said: “People who want to do politics with these helpless people are inhuman and we will prevent them at any cost.” Meanwhile, Tariqat Federation Joint Secretary Syed Tayabul Bashar Maizbhandari told the Dhaka Tribune that its activists and leaders are volunteering for relief distribution alongside AL and other parties in Teknaf and Ukhiya. He added: “We warned the government several times that the BNP and Jamaat are trying to plot a conspiracy with the Rohingya refugees. The AL and the 14-party alliance have acknowledged our concerns. “The district administration, law enforcement agencies and our party men are on alert to restrict Jamaat’s activities in the area,” he said. The local administration has directed all relief workers to get approval from the DC office in order to prevent Jamaat and its associate organisations from wielding its influence on the Rohingya, the Dhaka Tribune has learned.
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