Rohingya while resting releasing tired and temporarily housed in shelters House Immigration Punteut, Lhokseumawe. (Doc – Care)
Indian coast guards have rescued 108 Rohingyas off the coast of the country’s eastern Andaman archipelago, a website in the islands reports.
The ‘Andaman Sheekha’ said that two coast guard ships, C-145 and Aruna Asaf Ali, rescued these Rohingyas from an unmanned barge ‘Ganpati’, which was tugged away from Myanmar to Mumbai by ‘Tug Star Jakarta’.
Some officials of Indian company Punj Llyod drew the attention of the coast guards about the presence of some 15 unidentified people in the unmanned barge and the presence of some boats in its vicinity on the evening of 28th Feb, the website said.
On receipt of the information, Interceptor Boat C-145 under the command of Coast Guard Commandant SR Nagendrgan was pressed into action.
“It sailed out from Diglipur and intercepted Tug Star Jakarta at 9:00pm Indian time. Then the Coast Guards boarded the barge Ganpati,” the website said.
They found 108 Rohingyas onboard Ganpati. “They have been on sea since 15th Feb and without food and water for a week. Their condition was critical due to severe dehydration and starvation and required immediate medical aid and evacuation,” the website reported.
A three-year-old boy in the group had died and was given burial at sea, it said.
“Considering the urgency of rescuing large number of people, ICGS Aruna Asaf Ali under the command of Comdt MS Gill, operating 175 nm away, was also directed to rush for rendering assistance. The officers and men of the Coast Guard ships C-145 and Aruna Asaf Ali battled rough seas during the overnight operation and successfully rescued all the 108 Myanmarese (Rohingyas) from the barge Ganpati. The rescued Myanmarese were provided food, water and first Aid by Coast Guard ships,” the ‘Andaman Sheekha’ reported.
Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims trying to flee their native Arakans (now Rakhine state) of Myanmar or their makeshift camps in Bangladesh have been nabbed or rescued in recent weeks in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and even Sri Lanka.
The Rohingyas try to infiltrate into south-east Asian countries to start a new life, away from their troubled homeland, where ethnic riots and state persecution has put them in a tight spot.