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Bengalis’ demands hinder probe for illegal immigrants

December 5, 2012

The government’s investigation for illegal Bengalis in Rakhine State faced some delays in Pauktaw Township a few days ago due to the demands from the Bengalis to register them as Rohingyas.

As part of the investigation, officials from the immigration department have been asking routine questions to the Bengalis, such as the birthplaces, occupations, and death places of their grandparents and parents to differentiate illegal immigrants from early settlers.

While the officials have been trying to investigate the three generations of the Bengalis in accordance with the 1982 Citizenship Act, the Bengalis refused to sign the papers and demanded the officials to record them as Rohingyas.

Only the Bengalis over the age of 18 are being asked and the officials still need to check for illegal immigrants, according to a security-in-charge with the rank of captain, who requested not to be named.

The investigation has been resumed after halting for a few days and action will be taken on the illegal Bengalis only after the investigation has been completed, he added.

Each investigation team consists of 18 members, including 4 officials from the border immigration inspection department, two Rakhine representatives, two Bengali representatives, two members from the wards and village-tract administrative office, three policemen, three soldiers, and two officials from the immigration department.

The investigation for illegal Bengalis started after President Thein Sein announced last July that there are no Rohingyas in Myanmar. While some of the Bengalis have requested to be registered as Rohingyas, none of their requests have been accepted as of today.

Over 23,000 Bengalis from over 3700 households have been investigated in Pauktaw Township until November 20, according to the press release from the Rakhine State government.

Most of the Bengali population is located in Maungdaw Township, Buthidaung Township, and Sittwe Township and the government plans to increase its forces in investigating these areas.

source credit EMG

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