Burma Times Correspondent: July 04, 2015
Since the abduction of her husband more than seven months ago, Noor Begum can scarcely feed her two children. Her husband Zafar Alam was the only earning member of the family. Nowadays Noor works as a maid in the households, and when there is no work, she goes out with her children and mother in law to beg money from the local people.
It seemed a long time since the fateful day when the ‘man’ offered Zafar work as a day labourer in Teknaf. Zafar along with ten other men in Kutupalong camp accepted the offer.
“For two days we kept in touch over phone,” says Noor. Then the calls stopped. Noor and other Rohingyas thought there must have been some connection problems or the batteries had died down. But more than a week passed, and there was no news. Three Rohingyas from Kutupalong camp went to the Katabonia area of Teknaf where the men were working. After some investigation, they soon heard that there was a kidnapping in the area and around ten people have been forced on boats.
Two months later, the phones rang in Kutupalong camp informing the relatives that their men were in Thailand. The men were beaten and relatives were made to hear their tortured cries over telephone.
“It was horrible,” says Noor. “We told them we don’t have enough money for food, how could we raise 180,000 Taka ( the money sought for their release)?”
Then the telephones stopped. Now the fate of the men are uncertain. Noor waits patiently but she understands that her children might not see their beloved father ever again.