The government is planning to collate information of Rohingyas gathered from the biometric registration process with family counting to use it in repatriation process of the Myanmar citizens.
The governments of the two countries on Tuesday signed a deal for setting modalities of physical arrangement for partial repatriation of Rohingyas.
The number of biometric registered Rohingyas entering Bangladesh to flee persecution in Myanmar so far surpasses 10 lakh while the figure of family counting stands at 7.7 lakh till Thursday, government officials have said.
‘We are planning to tally the information on Rohingyas gathered from the biometric registration with family counting in order to use them for their repatriation,’ Cox’s Bazar refugee relief and repatriation commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam told New Age.
The Bangladesh government began biometric registration of the Rohingyas in September after their latest mass influx from Rakhine State started on August 25 for smooth distribution of relief and to know how many ethnic minorities entered.
The office of the refugee relief and repatriation commissioner on October 4 launched a family counting exercise in Cox’s Bazar, with the support of the UNHCR to identify vulnerabilities and specific needs among the Rohingya population and to harmonise assistance.
‘So far we have registered 10,10,700 Myanmar citizens,’ said Bangladesh Passport and Immigration Department deputy director Abu Noman Mohammad Zakir Hossain, who is overseeing the registration process.
‘We are still registering them and no decision as to completing the process is yet to be taken,’ he added.
A passport and immigration office official engaged in the registration process, however, estimated that the registration of almost 95 per cent of the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh was completed.
‘Bangladesh is providing registration card for the Rohingyas and having their finger prints so that they cannot get Bangladesh passport,’ the official said.
The registered person’s name, father’s name, mother’s name, place and date of birth, religion, country, nationality and pace and date of registration are mentioned in the registration cards.
On September 11, the government started the biometric registration for the Rohingyas.
The home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, at that time had said that without the registration cards, the Rohingyas would not get relief, nor would they be allowed to avail bus, water transports and even planes.
Cox’s Bazar refugee relief and repatriation commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said they so far counted 1.70 lakh families with a total of 7.70 lakh individuals.
Many Rohingyas living in different settlements,
including host communities, are still out of the family counting, Abul Kalam said.
He said that biometric registration was taking place at individual-based information with picture and finger prints while family counting was family-based information with a family picture.
The number of biometric registered Rohingyas exceeds the UN estimation, which in its Rohingya response plan in October past year estimated that there were 3,00,000 Rohingyas living in Bangladesh prior to the recent influx that began on August 25.
According to the UN estimation, 6,55,500 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since August 25 when the new influx, what the United Nations called the world’s fastest-developing refugee emergency, began.
The new influx began after Myanmar security forces responded to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s reported attacks on August 25 by launching a violence that the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing.
Officials estimated that the new influx already took to 10.74 lakh the number of Myanmar people living in Bangladesh.
Rohingyas fled unrest in Rakhine state in 1978, 1991- 92 and October 2016 and almost all of them took shelter at Teknaf and Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar, which housed two official Rohingya camps with 34,000 Rohingyas and several others unregistered camps and countless makeshift shelters.
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