Rohingyas leave camps, collect Bangladeshi passports...

Dhaka, Sunday   09 August 2020

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Rohingyas leave camps, collect Bangladeshi passports

 Cox`s Bazar Correspondent

 Published: 01:03 PM, 11 June 2019   Updated: 04:14 PM, 11 June 2019

Bangladesh Coast Guard detained the Rohingyas in Teknaf on May 30

Bangladesh Coast Guard detained the Rohingyas in Teknaf on May 30

The Rohingyas, who have taken shelter in Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine State, are fleeing from camps in different ways. Some of them are trying to move to Malaysia passing through the sea. Someone else is trying to collect Bangladeshi passport after entering villages.

Some NGO officers working on Rohingyas said that although the Rohingyas got Humanitarian assistance in the camps in Bangladesh, many of them thought that they would not be repatriated to their homeland. So, they want to move independently, after coming out from the boredom life in the camps. 

Inter-Sector Communication (ISG), a non-governmental organization working on Rohingyas, spokesman Saikat Biswas said that many Rohingyas want to leave the country for a better life. They want to go to those countries, where their relatives lived in, to meet them.

If this situation continues, another new crisis will be created, the officer said. 

NGOs and law enforcement sources said that Rohingyas are fleeing camps every day. As the Rohingyas could not be surrounded by certain boundaries, they are easily fleeing through different ways including forests. Some Rohingyas risk their lives in search of a better life in Malaysia passing through the sea. However, now they changed their strategy. They are entering the village of Bangladesh. After joining Bangladeshis and living with them for several days, they collected Bangladeshi passports and flew abroad. Camp-based brokerage group has been formed to take Rohingyas out the camps for smuggling them abroad. 

According to sources, in the last one and a half months, about 600 Rohingyas have been detained during the 21 drives of Border Guard Bangladesh, Coast Guard and Police, while trying to move to Malaysia passing through the sea. On June 6, police detained 18 Rohingya men from Link Road in Cox's Bazar city. Earlier on May 30, Coast Guard detained 58 people including two brokers on the deep sea at the south of St. Martin while moving to Malaysia. Of them, there are 20 men, 26 women and 10 children. Before that, 517 Rohingyas were detained and returned to the camp in 20 drives. Meanwhile, 32 brokers were detained and sent to jail through the court.  

The Rohingyas are not trying to flee only on the way to the sea, they are also trying to fly abroad ilegally with a Bangladeshi passport. On May 10, 23 Rohingyas were detained from Khilkhet in the capital while trying to flee abroad with the passport of Bangladesh. Besides, more than 50 other Rohingyas have been detained from different parts of the country while they are trying to collect passports. 

Abu Nayeem Nasim, Assistant Director of Cox's Bazar Regional Passport Office, said that 300 applications from Rohingya for getting the passport have been seized.

He said that Rohingya girls first live with locals for a few days. Afterward, they learned the local language and dressed like locals. After learning all conduct of locals, they came to the passport office collecting various papers. They tried to collect the passport to go abroad for medical treatment or Hajj. In this way, the Rohingyas are desperate to collect a passport on various strategies. 

According to sources, most of the Rohingya women are desperate to travel abroad. Especially Malaysia is their preferred destination. 

Nari Jagoron Songstha is working in Rohingya camp in Ukhia. Chief executive of the organization Shiuli Sharma said that many Rohingya women want to go to Malaysia to marry there. They thought that if they go to Malaysia, they will get a better marriage. The human trafficking syndicate has inserted them the idea. As a result, many of them are willing to go to Malaysia passing through the sea. 

Another source said that the activities of the human traffickers have increased in the Rohingya camp. Besides, there are some Rohingyas, whose relatives have lived in Malaysia. They contacted the Rohingyas to take them to Malaysia. Human traffickers are also involved in this case.

Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said that it is so difficult to control almost 10 lakh Rohingyas. They are trying to get out of the camp in various ways. Various measures have been taken so that Rohingyas cannot get out of the camp. The police and all concerned are working full time. The issue is being strictly monitored. 

Cox's Bazar Police Superintendent ABM Masud Hossain said that Rohingyas are fleeing the camp area through the hills and forests to avoid the Security Force checkpoints. 

'They have learned the local language now. Wear clothes like locals. Many people are trying to flee along with the locals,' he said. 

Additional Superintendent of Police Iqbal Hossain said that the checkpoint has been set up in the streets. However, Rohingyas can flee through the jungles, canals, bills, avoiding streets. In this case, barbed wire needs surrounding the Rohingya camp. If the barricades built around the Rohingya camp, Rohingyas will not be able to easily flee.