Dhaka: Bangladesh government had mowed down more than 3,000 Rohingya-owned makeshift shops since December last year, Agence France-Presse reported citing an official's account on Tuesday.
Bangladesh deputy refugee commissioner Shamsud Douza told AFP that they were illegal shops. But, the administration is building sheds for them since the number of people in the community is rising, and more shelters are needed. People's daily needs will be catered, he said.
However, a Rohingya community representative, Khin Maung, said that income from the shops was life support for many families since the food-ration allocated to the community is decreasing. Destroying the shops has affected thousands of families, he said.
Salim Ulla, who lost his grocery shop to demolition, said that he has a family of eight members, and he is struggling to feed them. His shop was his last hope. He says he is helpless, and there is nothing to do but die.
Among many restrictions, the administration demolishing makeshift shops owned by the members of the community is getting flak from rights groups.
Amnesty International representative Saad Hammadi said that the destruction of refugees' shops and shuttering community-led schools would leave them vulnerable. Conditions in the camps will worsen, aggravating tension and frustration. Hammadi called for authorities to protect the Rohingya community's dignity and rights, such as the right to earn a living.
In Bangladesh, around 8, 50,000 Rohingya Muslims are rehabilitated in displacement camps. Most of them fled during the 2017 Myanmar military conflicts. Myanmar government never refers to the community as 'Rohingya', but 'Bangali', and they accuse them of having a separatist agenda.