• Thursday, Jun 30, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Government bars people from visiting Bhashan Char

  • Published at 08:55 pm January 6th, 2021
Bhashan Char Rohingya relocation MHO December 2021
File photo: The housing project for Rohingyas in Bhasan Char, off the coast of Noakhali district in Bangladesh Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh Army will install barbed wire fences around Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to ensure security

The government has announced that people will be barred from unnecessarily visiting Bhashan Char. However, NGO workers or other officials who work there will not come under the purview of the decision.

Additionally, the Bangladesh Army will install barbed wire fences around the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to ensure that refugees do not leave their camp and join the local community.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the national committee for coordinating, managing and maintaining law and order of Rohingyas on Wednesday at the secretariat.

Following the meeting, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “We have noticed that some curious people have started visiting Bhashan Char. I would like to announce through you [journalists] that such curious people have to refrain from going to Bhashan Char.”

“If anyone needs to go there, they can go. But people should not crowd Bhashan Char unnecessarily. We have taken this decision at the meeting,” the minister said.

The government recently shifted two batches of Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char. More Rohingyas will be shifted to the island gradually.

Barbed wire fences around Rohingya camps

Earlier in February 2020, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said barbed wire fences would be installed around the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar to prevent the refugees from leaving their shelters.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the committee finalized a decision to construct the barbed wire fences around the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to increase security.

Following the meeting, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “We have already reached a decision to the effect that we will construct barbed wire fences around the Rohingya camps so that the citizens of Myanmar who are there can stay in one place.”

“Not just barbed wire fences, there will also be a walkway all around the Rohingya camps. Additionally, there will be watchtowers and CCTV cameras,” the minister added.

Kamal said: “Decisions were taken to strengthen the security of Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. We have taken the decision at the meeting to complete these works within a short time. It will be carried out by the Bangladesh army.”

On December 14 last year, the Cabinet Division formed the national committee for coordinating, managing and maintaining law and order of Rohingyas. Wednesday’s meeting was the first meeting of the committee.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal is the convener, with the foreign minister, state ministers for disaster management and relief, women and children affairs and 13 senior officials of different ministries and divisions on the 17-member national committee.

Seeking anonymity, a minister who attended the meeting told Dhaka Tribune: “The meeting was focused on the security and safety of Rohingya camps. At the same time we discussed ways of sending the Rohingya people back to Myanmar as the process of repatriation has remained halted for over two years.”

At the meeting, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatunnesa Indira, Principal Secretary at Prime Minister’s Office Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Waqar-uz-Zaman and high officials of security agencies were present.

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