Teknaf, Bangladesh: Around 200 were missing and about 60 boatpeople were rescued while a Malaysia voyage’s boat capsized in the Bay of Bengal on January 19, said a boatpeople who swam in the sea and arrived at Saint-Martian.
“The boat was capsized after crossing Saint Martin Island in the Bay of Bengal near Burma side.”
“The boat was capsized for overloading and sank under the water while the bottom of the trawler was damaged.”
“On that day, at night, a big trawler was anchored in the Bay of Bengal nearby Saint Martin, and some of the human traffickers secretly ferried over 100 boatpeople to the said trawler by small boats from Shapuri Dip for fear of police, BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh and Coast Guards. There were more than 260 boatpeople on board which has no capacity.”
He refused his name that he had rescued 26 boatpeople by small boat of Saint-Martain with cooperation of local fishermen as he was a fisherman before and know the situation of the area.
“I was not able to save more boatpeople for fear of arrest as the Saint-Martain police personnel knew the information of boat capsized in the sea and were coming to the spot, he said to the Kaladan News.
According to a fishing boat, we saw some boat-people were in the floating nearby Nakondia Dia - between Saint-Martain and Shapuri Dip - and informed to the coastguards.
On being tipped off, the Bangladeshi Coastguards went to the spot and rescued 33 boat-people. They were kept safely by Coastguard, a Coastguard officer, Obidul Haque said.
The officer also thinks that many boatpeople are missing in the Bay of Bengal because of there were nearly 200 people in a big trawler.
According to sources, the 33 arrested boatpeople were sent to Teknaf police station for further investigation.
The trawler from Bowal Khali river of Chittagong left for Malaysia with some people and other some were taken from Shapuri Dip, according to sources.
On November 23, about 17 people were rescued and around 138 were missing while a Malaysia voyage’s boat capsized in the Bay of Bengal, at night. The boat was capsized while it attacked the rock between Saint Martin and Shapuri Dip Island,” according to an elder from Alaythankyaw, Maungdaw south.
A fisherman said from Shapuri Dip, 10 dead bodies of boat-people were recovered from Naikondia of Burma side on January 20, 2012.
An officer from Coastguard said that the dead bodies of boat-people who rescovered from Burma side, how many Bangladeshi there, it is not confirmed.
The Teknaf police sent the 33 boat-people to Cox’s Bazar jail next day morning, who were illegally trying to stowaway to Malaysia. They were rescued by Coast Guards on Thursday and handed over to police.
The Teknaf police, quoting the arrested ones, said the arrested voyagers had to pay Tk 25,000 to Tk 35,000 per head to the brokers to get on the boat.
“I began to swim and kept afloat for five hours,” fisherman Dil Mohammad of Shapuri Dip under Teknaf said, adding that he was rescued and arrested by the coast guard members.