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1,463 more Rohingyas relocated to Bhashan Char

  • Published at 10:14 am January 30th, 2021
Dhaka Tribune

On Friday, some 1,778 more Rohingyas reached the island in the third phase of relocation process

Some 1,463 more Rohingyas have arrived at Bhashan Char in Noakhali from the camps in Cox's Bazar on the second day in the third phase of relocation process.

The persecuted Myanmar citizens reached the island in the Bay of Bengal around 1pm on Saturday, after a three-hour journey from Chittagong.

Earlier, four ships of the Bangladesh Navy carrying the Rohingyas left the Chittagong Boat Club jetty in the port city's Patenga area around 9:30am, said National Security Intelligence (NSI) officials.

On Friday, some 1,778 more Rohingyas reached the island in the third phase of the relocation process.

In the first two phases -- December 4 and 29, a total of 3,446 Rohingyas were relocated to Bhashan Char developed by the Bangladesh Navy at a cost of Tk3,100 crore.

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Buoyed by the success of the first and second relocation, the government is continuing its effort to relocate some 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char in phases to provide them with a better living place. 

Located 34 kilometres from the mainland, the island under Hatiya upazila of Noakhali surfaced 20 years ago and was never inhabited.

Contractors say its infrastructure is like a modern township, with multi-family concrete homes, schools, playgrounds and roads. It also has solar power facilities, a water supply system and cyclone shelters.

Mohammad Samsuddauja, additional commissioner of the government's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Office, said food items have been stored in Bhashan Char for three months, reports BSS.

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Initially, cooked food will be provided to Rohingyas by different non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as representatives of 22 NGOs have started their respective works at the island in this regard, he said.

In addition to modern accommodation for the Rohingyas in Bhashan Char, educational institutions, hospitals, clinics and playgrounds have already been set up, he continued.

He said that buffaloes, sheep, ducks and pigeons are being reared there for gearing up economic activities.

"Different types of vegetables are being planted. Paddy is also being cultivated experimentally there," he added.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, amid a military crackdown on Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and other rights groups dubbed as "genocide."

Bangladesh has been urging the global community to mount pressure on Myanmar for effective repatriation of the Rohingyas.