Foreign ministry hands over 7 Rohingyas to police

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:52, Jun 27,2019


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday handed over seven Rohingya people of Myanmar, including five minor children, of a family to the police in Dhaka to send them back to their temporary shelters in camps in Cox’s Bazar.

They were Khatiza Binte Jawla Ahmad, about 35, Sheikh Mustakima Binte Sultan Ahmad, about 18, Sheikh Muttakin Binte Sultan Ahmad, Sheikh Ashraf Bin Sultan Ahmad, Sheikh Sadikin Bin Sultan Ahmad, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Sultan Ahmad and Sheikh Musharraf Bin Sultan Ahmad, according to foreign ministry officials.

The last five people were  minor children of the family.

Khatiza claimed to the officials that they were residents of Camp 27 in Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar. They reached Dhaka on Tuesday after collecting gate pass from camp officials for their visit to a North American country. The embassy of the country in Dhaka said they cannot issue visa to Rohingya people without clearance from the Bangladesh government.

They came to the foreign ministry on Wednesday with help of an adult male, who claimed to be a camp staff, for getting clearance for going abroad. He fled the ministry sensing difficult situation.

They stayed at a hotel in the city on Wednesday night. 

The foreign ministry officials called the police and handed over the group for taking them back to the camp in Cox’s Bazar.

Government officials in Cox’s Bazar said that ‘groups of traffickers were active and Rohingya people were being exploited with false promises of sending them abroad.

A member of the National Task Force on Rohingya said there was no provision to issue passes to allow the Myanmar nationals out of the camps as the government and international agencies have been providing almost everything they needed in camp areas.

Faced with the question how they collected the passes from the office of the camp in-charge, refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam told New Age, ‘let’s wait till we hear what the group has to say first after their return to the camp.’

More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.

The UNHCR and the government failed in their first attempt at sending the first batch of Rohingyas on November 15 last year as nobody agreed to go back on the ground that there was an absence of environment for return to the Rakhine state, their place of origin. 

The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 1.2 million according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh authorities.

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