Death toll in St. Martin Trawler capsize increases to fifteen

Nurul Haque, Upazilla Correspondent,, Teknaf


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An incident of trawler capsizes took place in the Saint Martin Channel on Tuesday(Feb.11) morning on its way to Malaysia illegally. So far, 15 bodies of Rohingyas have been recovered and 71 Rohingyas were rescued alive by the Coast Guard.

It is reported that some Rohingya women and men were traveling to Malaysia illegally through the Bay of Bengal in greed to get married and to earn money. It is learned that behind them is a section of active brokers. The information was confirmed by Coast Guard Teknaf Station Commander Lt. Commander Sohail Rana.

He said that on Tuesday (Feb. 11), a Malaysia bound trawler carrying with nearly one hundred Rohingya people was capsized in the St. Martin channel. At this news, CG Stations of Teknaf and St. Martin started rescue operation. Rescuers of the Coast Guard's Metalsark, a cutter and three speed boats, conducted a rescue operation in the Bay of St. Martin. So far, 71 people have been rescued alive and 15 dead. Of these bodies, 12 are women and three are children. Among the survivors are 46 women, 4 children and 21 men. However, the rescue operation is still going on, he said.

Rescued Md Zubair of the Rohingya camp of Balukhali said, “Two men named Syed Alam and Nurul Alam from Bahachhara Noakhali Para of Teknaf brought us from the camp. At night, we were lifted on a trawler. Early in the morning, about 10 kms west of St. Martin, the trawler knocked against a rock, as a result the trawler sank in the Bay.

He said that after thinking of family, I wanted to go to Malaysia in the hope of a better life, but today all would have ended.

Among the rescued women, Rozina Akhter of Kutupalong-4 camp in Ukhia said they were very well with homes and families in Rakhine, Myanmar.  But they had to flee Rakhaine to save their lives. Now they live in the hill slopes of Ukhiah. The family is running on relief given by the NGO.

She said, 'The age is also increasing. I have to get married. After a lot of thinking, I decided to go to Malaysia as per family decisions.

The woman said her marriage has been settled with a Malaysian migrant young Rohingya. She was going to him. But I my dream of marriage after going to Malaysia is evaporated.

However, the human traffickers have selected the Rohingya camps in Ukhia-Teknaf for human trafficking. They have become active by targeting the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. A section Rohingya traffickers have joined hand s with them. Locals have demanded punishments of the traffickers by identifying them.