Two Rohingya Muslim men arrested in Manipur on trafficking charges | india news | Hindustan Times
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Two Rohingya Muslim men arrested in Manipur on trafficking charges

The arrests were made on Saturday after police were tipped off about a group of Rohingya men staying in Moreh’s Muslim Basti with trafficked girls, police sources said.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2018 23:27 IST
Sobhapati Samom and Sadiq Naqvi
The arrested two Rohingya men in police custody.
The arrested two Rohingya men in police custody. (HT Photo)

The Manipur Police have arrested two Rohingya Muslim men and a 20-year-old woman, suspected to be a trafficking victim, from Moreh, a thriving commercial hub that borders Myanmar.

The arrests were made on Saturday after police were tipped off about a group of Rohingya men staying in Moreh’s Muslim Basti with trafficked girls, police sources said.

“The two men were arrested for their suspected involvement in human trafficking while the woman for not having valid document,” Tengnoupal superintendent of police S Ibomcha said. Moreh is part of Tengnoupal district.

The Rohingya are a persecuted ethnic group in Myanmar, who have faced violence from time to time. At least 40,000 of them live in India.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after a military crackdown in the northwestern Rakhine state in August 2017.

The violence, which saw widespread killings and rapes, hit women and children particularly hard, leaving them vulnerable to human traffickers.

Police identified the two men as Mohd Saifullah (34) and Mohd Salam (25) from Arakan, which is now known as Rakhine. The woman’s name was Toiba Hatu alias Nargis (20), who, too, is from the troubled Myanmar province.

Saifullah, who was living in Moreh with his family, was carrying an Aadhaar card and also a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ card, the SP said.

Salam and Toiba Hatu seemed to have arrived in India recently and had no documents on them.

The two men and a local, Mohd Ismail from Imphal West district, were trafficking Rohingya girls from Myanmar to different parts of the world, including India, Ibomcha said.

Ismail and the owner of the house where the group was living were on the run.

This is the second time in two months that such arrests have been made in Moreh, which is considered India’s gateway to the Southeast.

Three Rohingya men were arrested in March and police sources said they suspected involvement of some locals as the men had been promised jobs.

The Rohingya are one of the many ethnic minorities in Myanmar, which denies them citizenship and considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.