Thursday, October 22, 2020 | ePaper

Providing Bangladeshi passports to Rohingya people

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An international syndicate has been formed to send Rohingya labourers to different South, Southeast and Middle Eastern countries. Newspapers reports said the local part of this syndicate includes some public representatives, officials of Passport Department and police along with brokers.  Presently, it becomes a major challenge to the government that, if they stop sending labourers to punish the fake passport holders, a lot of genuine Bangladeshi people will suffer losses.
In the latest incident, five Rohingya men were arrested at Darshana Immigration Centre in Chuadanga on July 6 when they were trying to enter India showing Bangladeshi passports. More than 250,000 Rohingyas have gone abroad using Bangladeshi passports, Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam recently said. We think, the number of Rohingyas using Bangladeshi passports is more than that.
Its highly surprising when a genuine Bangladeshi has to suffer a lot to get a passport, then how so many Rohingya people were given passports without verification.  Undoubtedly, it's shocking news.   If any Bangladeshi national wants a passport he will have to provide Birth Certificate, National ID, and other necessary documents. Later, officials of Special Branch verify it going to the spot physically.
The Rohingya people who went to different countries, especially Saudia Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia, have been allegedly entangled with various unlawful activities hampering the reputation of Bangladesh. To resist the issuance of fake passport, the Department of Passport and Immigration introduced Machine Readable Passport (MRP) a few years back. But the ill practice is not yet stopped.
Over 1.2 lakh Rohingyas have taken shelter in our country being driven away by the Myanmar military in the recent months. They are not the citizens of Bangladesh.  We are very much kind enough and polite to them. But it does not mean that they could avail a Bangladeshi passport.
Government has taken a step to identify every Rohingya man through biometric process. If it is done successfully then it will not possible for them to get a Bangladeshi passport. Without cooperation of local people the syndicate could not stay active. The government must identify and ensure punishment to the culprits involve in the passport business.

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