Mohib Ullah rose to fame as Rohingya leader. And killers went after him

Assailants killed Rohyngia civilian leader Mohib Ullah to “stop” him because he rose to fame in refugee camps, police have said after arresting a suspect who allegedly took part in the killing.

Naimul Haque, commander of 13 Armed Police Battalion or APBn, said at a press conference at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday that they arrested four more suspects.

The key suspect Azizul Haque, told police in interrogation that the leaders of the crime cartel met on Sept 27, two days before killing Mohib Ullah. Azizul said he was present at the meeting.      

The group ordered the killing of Mohib Ullah because he was becoming a “top leader” through his activities to push for the peaceful repatriation of the refugees to Myanmar’s Rakhine, the APBn official said, citing Azizul. 

Information gleaned from Azizul led to the arrests of Md Rashid alias Murshid Amin, Md Anas and Noor Mohammad.

Azizul was arrested with a gun at Lambsia camp early on Saturday. He later gave a confessional statement to a magistrate.

A total of seven people, five of whom were armed, took part in the killing mission, according to the police.

Mohib Ullah, 48, led an organisation called Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights. He was shot dead around 8:30 pm on Sept 29 at his office in the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar.

He had represented the Rohingya community at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019.

For years, he was one of the most prominent advocates for the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority from Myanmar. The organisation he led was founded in 2017 to document atrocities against Rohingya in their native Myanmar and give them a voice in international talks about their future.

Although APBn official Naimul skirted questions about the “group of miscreants” behind Mohib Ullah’s killing, the refugee leader’s family believes another Rohingya group – the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA – is responsible for his death.

Police had arrested four other Rohingya men earlier over the murder of Mohib Ulllah. One of them, Md Ilias, gave a confessional statement to a court.

Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, the biggest of their kind in the world, have been roiled by gunfights and clashes on many occasions. Police described these incidents as robbery or smuggling cases.

At least six people were killed in an attack at a madrasa inside the Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhiya on Friday morning.