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Kolkata students protest persecution of Rohingya Muslims
Friday June 12, 2015 8:54 PM, IANS

Kolkata: The West Bengal chapter of the Students' Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) on Friday protested against the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims and urged the country's government to protect the lives and properties of the minority group.

In a memorandum submitted to the Myanmar consulate here, a group of students affiliated to the organization expressed "strong concerns at the recent exhumation on May 1 and May 4 of dozens of bodies from mass grave-sites near human traffickers' brutal camps in southern Thailand".

"We appeal to the coastal countries in the region to provide necessary search and rescue services. The root cause of these tragedies should be addressed. The Burmese government has to bear all the responsibility for the untold sufferings of the Rohingya people for not allowing them to have a peaceful living in their own homeland," said Ariful Rahaman of the Bengal chapter.

The students demanded that the Myanmar government provide citizenship and secure shelter to the Rohingyas. In addition, they sought the arrest of the "Buddhist terrorists involved in such genocides".

In recent years, sectarian violence and a thicket of discriminatory laws against the Rohingya in Buddhist-majority Myanmar have sparked the region's largest exodus of boat-people since the Vietnam War.

More than 25,000 people, including many Rohingya but also economic migrants from Bangladesh, made the dangerous sea journey south from the Bay of Bengal between January and March this year, the UN says.

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