Over 100 men who are believed to be Bengali immigrants were recently arrested on Gwa Island that is situated seven miles away from Gwa Town in Arakan State.
A local resident said the authorities still have not publicized any information about how they arrived on the island and why they were arrested.
“The responsible authorities have not publicized anything about them yet. So, the people here are worrying why they have come to our island. So, we have written to the Gwa Township Peace and Stability Committee and demanded it publicize the matter immediately”, said the resident.
The Gwa Township Peace and Stability Committee is said to be formed with 28 members both civilians and government officials for preventing any unrest in their township after the violent unrests that have occurred in some townships in Arakan State. The local residents are said to have written to the committee demanding it publicize the information about the arrival and arrest of those Bengali immigrants on Gwa Island on 24th of June.
“We have learnt that they have entered into Shweyachai Village on the island dividing themselves into small groups—four of them on 22nd of June, another five on 23rd of June and group after group so on. They all were arrested, but the people in our township are now worrying why they have come to our island.
Another resident in Gwa also confirmed that 130 boat-wreck Bengali immigrants were arrested on the island.
“We heard that there were 130 men in total. They came to the island on 20th of this month after their boat sailing from Bangladesh to Malaysia was wrecked near the island. They were arrested and said to still be being kept on the island by the authorities”, said the resident.
A police officer from Gwa also confirmed the arrest of the immigrants on the island, but declined to tell any further details.
When we contacted the township administration office in Gwa over phone, a female official on duty said, her office still has not received any information about the arrest of the immigrants.