Shijal ChudasamaDecember 21, 2022

Over 100 Rohingya stranded off the coast of India, many of them believed dead

Over 100 Rohingya stranded off the coast of India, many of them believed dead

According to family and activists, as many as 16–20 refugees may have drowned or died of thirst and hunger.

As many as 16–20 Rohingya may have drowned or died of thirst and hunger when stranded on a boat off the coast of India's Andaman Islands, according to their relatives and activists.

Five Indian ships approached the stranded boat late on Tuesday, a source told Reuters.

"We estimate that as many as 20 have likely perished. Some died of thirst and hunger, while others leaped overboard out of desperation. Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, which works to support Myanmar's Rohingya, said, "This is simply dreadful and unacceptable.

Priyali Sur, a refugee rights activist in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera that the situation on the boat is "becoming worse and worse."

"On December 7, when I got in touch with the boat's crew, they informed me that two youngsters had passed away. Two persons plunged into the river out of despair, and we received unsubstantiated reports of a few more deaths," she said.

“It has been 25 days that they have been in the sea. They have run out of food and drinking water," she added

The Rohingya Working Group of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network reported that the group had been lost for more than two weeks.

The group's chair, Lilianne Fan, stated, "We heard late yesterday night that there were some Indian vessels approaching the yacht so we are now expecting information."

"We are hopeful that the Indian Navy or coastguard will be able to save the boat and get everyone off as soon as possible. These folks have been drifting without food or water for more than two weeks on a broken boat. According to what we've heard, up to 16 individuals may already be dead."

A Rohingya refugee named Muhammed Rezuwan Khan told over the phone that his 27-year-old sister Fatim Un Nisa, who is widowed, and her 5-year-old daughter Umi Salima are among the passengers stuck aboard the boat.

On November 25, she departed the Cox's Bazar camp. With two daughters, one of whom is with us, she was having difficulty in this place on her own. Additionally, we learned that there have been numerous fatalities and a shortage of basic necessities. The situation is severe and they are famished. Their safety is something that we take seriously.

Khan argued that the world community should step up and help the refugees.

Many Rohingya risk their lives every year by boarding rickety boats to flee the conflict in Myanmar and the filth in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Many people try to travel to Malaysia.

The navy of Sri Lanka saved more than 100 Rohingya from another boat over the weekend.

The number of persons attempting to cross the Andaman Sea from Bangladesh and Myanmar has sharply increased, according to an advisory from the UN agency for refugees on December 2.

According to a UN statement, the canal in Southeast Asia is one of the world's most deadly, and more than 1,900 individuals have already traveled there since January of this year, which is six times the amount of people who attempted to do so in 2020.

In 2018, after a military crackdown in Myanmar that included, according to witnesses, mass executions and rape, more than 730,000 Rohingya fled to the neighboring country of Bangladesh.

Villages have been burned and citizens have been killed, according to rights organizations and the media.

The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group who predominantly follow Islam and reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Before the Rohingya genocide in 2017, when over 740,000 fled to Bangladesh, an estimated 1.4 million Rohingya lived in Myanmar.

The Rohingya have suffered decades of violence, discrimination and persecution in Myanmar. Their largest exodus began in August 2017 after a massive wave of violence broke out in Myanmar's Rakhine State, forcing more than 700,000 people - half of them children - to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
Over 100 Rohingya stranded off India’s coast, many feared dead
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