Thursday, February 22, 2018 | ePaper
Slow pace of regn creates chaos
Only 12 persons registered biometrically on the first day: It will take days to bring all the refugees at one camp: Rohingyas spreading fast in other districts: Several arrested and sent back to Teknaf
Slow pace of registration of the Rohingyas has created a chaotic situation in resettlement and relief distribution among the refugees who have entered Bangladesh through Cox's Bazar and Bandarban districts in the last few days.
The government has no accurate figure how many Rohingyas entered since August 25. Though the United Nations High Commission for Refugees [UNHCR] on Tuesday in a statement said 370,000 Myanmar nationals so far have taken shelter, the local sources claimed the number has already crossed 500,000.
Cox's Bazar administration officials told The New Nation that biometric registration began yesterday with the enlisting of the name of Rohingya woman Rubia Khatun and they were able to enlist only 12 refugees in the whole day.
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh, district administration, Passport and Immigration Department and International Organization for Migration are jointly working in the registration cell formed to prepare the database of the refugees.
The registration work was supposed to begin on Monday, but it was delayed due to some official complications. Nobody knows how many days will take to complete the biometric registration of a large number of Rohingyas.
"The biometric registration and counting of Rohingya refugees have began. We'll take impression of ten fingers during the registration. Besides, they'll have to provide all necessary information, including name, names of father and mother, home address in Myanmar and etcetera, " Colonel Shafiul Azam, Head of Registration cell, said.
Officials said, apart from the Kutupalong refugee camp, about 15-20 registration camps will be set up in different places to speeding up the process. After completion of the registration, the government will get a full-fledged database of the new Rohingya refugees, the officials said.
The refuges also will get a card after registration which will help them get relief items and other facilities.
In-charge of the refugee control room, Additional District Magistrate Khalid Mahmud, said that decision has been taken to construct 200 more new houses at Kutupalong under Ukhiya upazila to shelter Rohingyas temporarily. At present, 1600 families are staying there. The houses will be built to keep all the Rohingyas at one place, he said.
Meanwhile, scattered staying of Rohingyas on the streets, hills and open spaces at Ukhiya and Teknaf has made the situation difficult for the officials concerned to distribute relief materials systematically. It will take more time to bring all the Rohingyas at Kutupalong and Balukhali camps, the officials said.
Already hundreds of Rohingyas have spread out in different neigbouring districts. Police, RAB and other agencies are kept in vigil whether the Rohingyas are trying to take shelter outside Teknaf and Ukhiya.
RAB arrested 78 Myanmar nations from Cox's Bazar- Chittagong bound buses and sent them back to Teknaf. "We are checking the buses coming from Teknaf and Cox's Bazar, so that no Rohingya can go to Chittagong or other places," Assistant Director [media] of RAB-7 Mimtanur Rahman said.
On the other hand, police yesterday arrested 19 Rohingyas, mostly women and children, from Fatika union of Hathazari upazila in Chittagong district. Earlier, the police arrested 18 other Rohingyas from Sitakunda area.
Additional Superintendent of Police of Chittagong [Hathazari circle]Abdullah Al Masum said, the arrested Myanmar nationals have been sent to Balukhali camp at Ukhiya.
Additional Superintendent of Police of Chittagong [Sadar] Rezaul Masud said, "We've directed all 14 thanas of Chittagong district to increase vigilance so that no Rohingya can take shelter there. Except Cox's Bazar, the Rohingyas will not be allowed to stay at other places. Check posts have been set up at different points to look after the matter."