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Bhashan Char: 3rd batch of Rohingyas to move at January end

  • Published at 05:27 pm January 17th, 2021
WEB_Rohingyas getting briefed at Bhashan Char - 04.12.2020
File photo of Rohingya refugees getting briefed about their stay at Bhashan Char after relocating there from the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, on Friday, December 4, 2020 Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan/Dhaka Tribune

A total 3,414 Rohingyas who were previously relocated to the island are doing well, top officials say

The government is planning to relocate the third batch of Rohingyas from the camps in Cox's Bazar to Bhashan Char at the end of this month, multiple sources told Dhaka Tribune.

About 2,000 members of the persecuted community from Rakhine state of Myanmar will be relocated in the third batch, they added.

Bhashan Char is an island in Noakhali district. The island was developed by the Bangladesh Navy at a cost of about Tk3,100 crore in preparation for the Rohingya.

In the first two batches, on December 4 and 29 last year, a total of 3,414 Rohingyas were relocated to the island.

When contacted, a top official of the Cox's Bazar-based office of the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) declined to specify a time frame for the third relocation.

"It's a continuous process. We are working on this. You have got to do some jobs quietly," Additional RRRC Mohammad Shamsud Douza said, advising that the correspondent contact higher authorities.

The government also conducted the first two relocations with a low profile.

To a question, Shamsud Douza said the relocated Rohingyas are doing well on the island in the Bay of Bengal.

"Yes, there is a plan to relocate the third batch. As we provide the transport facilities, they [Office of RRRC under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief] wanted to know when transport would be convenient," Commodore AA Mamun Chowdhury, director of the Bhashan Char project, told this correspondent from the island.

"We have given them a day between January 24 and 28," he said, adding that about 2,000 people are expected to be relocated in the latest batch.

Two other sources corroborated the information.

Responding to another query, the senior official of Bangladesh Navy, which is facilitating the relocation and helping the RRRC look after the relocated Rohingyas on the island, said: "The people who came here are well. So far so good. We are yet to face any trouble. The Rohingyas are cooperating with us."