A total of 200 Rohingya refugees have undergone biometric registration in two days since the process began on Monday night.
The government of Bangladesh has decided to identify the people who have entered Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, as a list of refugees will need to be submitted to the Myanmar government for any scope of repatriation.
Assistant Commissioner and Executive Magistrate at Cox’s Bazar District Administration Lutfor Rahman confirmed the matter to the Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
He said: “Biometric registration of eight Rohingya refugees were completed on Monday night while some 192 more people came under this process on Tuesday. We could not register more people on Tuesday due to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.”
“The refugees came to us for registration without hesitation, and I hope the number will continue to rise tomorrow,” the assistant commissioner added.
The Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) has been handed the responsibility of supervising the project, while Border Guard Bangladesh handle its execution with the technical assistance of software development firm Tiger IT Bangladesh Limited.
The first Rohingya refugee to enroll in the government’s register was 60-year-old Rubia Khatun. She undertook the process in Kutupalong camp at 8:40pm on Monday.
The nationality of the refugees is being labeled as “Rohingya” on registration forms, while their place of birth and country are being listed as “Myanmar”.
DIP Project Director Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan and Deputy General Manager of Tiger IT Bangladesh Limited Rajib Chowdhury were among those present during the inauguration of the registration process.
Tiger IT DGM Rajib Chowdhury told the Dhaka Tribune that the registration process will be executed through 12 booths in different areas of Cox’s Bazar, of which six booths have already been opened in Kutupalong camp in Ukhiya upazila, Cox’s Bazar.
“Identifying the Rohingya refugees who entered in recent times has been one of major challenges for the government of Bangladesh since the latest military crackdown erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state,” he said.
Rajib added that the identification will facilitate repatriation of the Rohingya once the conflict in the Rakhine state is resolved.
“The government has come up with this idea after getting inspired from the registration of Syrian refugees in Germany. This technological solution of recording the demographics and biometrics of the Rohingya refugees will facilitate not only the law enforcers but also it will help the different aid agencies to distribute food, medical supplies and shelter to people in need,” he said.
DIP Director Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan told the Dhaka Tribune: “All the Rohingya refugees staying in Bangladesh will eventually come under biometric registration. But we have started our process with those who arrived after August 25.”