The police on Wednesday and Thursday arrested 28 more Rohingyas from Chattogram's Sitakunda who reportedly fled the Rohingya resettlement facilities on Bhashan Char.
Nine were arrested on Thursday from Mirsharai upazila's Shaherkhali union, and 19 were arrested from Sitakunda upazila's north Salimpur on Wednesday.
These Rohingyas, including women and children, were first captured by locals, who then handed them over to police. Initial interrogation revealed the Rohingyas were on their way to Teknaf in Cox's Bazar.
According to Rafikul Islam, Bhashan Char thana officer in charge (OC), in the last three months some 250 Rohingyas have fled Bhashan Char.
The runaway refugees used Chattogram's Mirsarai and Sandwip, and Noakhali's Companiganj and Char Jabbar routes to flee.
In fleeing, many of these Rohingyas faced death in boat accidents. Some make their way to Malaysia illegally with the help of middlemen, and many return to their families in Cox's Bazar refugee camps, according to sources.
Why are the Rohingyas fleeing?
To understand why so many Rohingyas are fleeing Bhashan Char, this correspondent contacted Shamsud Douza, additional commissioner (Refugee Relief and Repatriation).
He said, "Certain middlemen are active in the Rohingya resettlement camps who help the Rohingya flee, giving them false hope. We came across this information when Mirsarai's Jorarganj police station interrogated arrested Rohingyas."
According to Jasmine Prema, chairperson, of Samaj Kalyan o Unnayan Shangstha (Skus), many Rohingyas are fleeing Bhashan char despite better living conditions there, out of a sense of social responsibility.
"Many of the Rohingyas living in Bhashan Char have families or friends in Cox's Bazar camps, a contributing factor to these fleeing incidents happening frequently. Some of the runaway Rohingyas sometimes come back to Bhashan Char after a while but many do not," she added.
It is important to note here that the government has relocated some 18,347 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char so far.