The government has taken a fresh move to collect household-based data of the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh as the data collected previously by the department of immigration and passport would not help the repatriation process.
Cox’s Bazar deputy commissioner Md Kamal Hossain told New Age that the process of fresh registration was started as per the joint decision of the United Nations refugee agency and Bangladesh after the previous registration by the DIP was suspended recently.
An official of Cox’s Bazar district administration said the Department of Immigration and Passports completed registrations of 11,18,578 Rohingya individuals who entered Bangladesh fleeing violence and persecution back in their homeland Rakhine of Myanmar, especially after August 25, 2017.
The official said the DIP completed their registrations in Cox’s Bazar by June 5 and now were cross-checking the data.
‘But,’ the official said, ‘the data collected by the DIP will not help us in the repatriation process as we need household-based data of the Rohingyas. It was a hurried decision and the existing data are now worthless.’
The official said the DIP collected the data of individual Rohingyas but both Bangladesh’s foreign ministry and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have now started the process of collecting their family-based data.
‘We have held a meeting here [in Cox’s Bazar] to this end and the household data collection will begin very soon,’ said another official at Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission in Cox’s Bazar.
DIP’s director general Major General Masud Rezwan declined to comment even after multiple approaches.
Representatives from the army and Border Guard Bangladesh started registering Rohingyas after the process had begun on September 11, 2017 following the latest spate of Rohingya crisis.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in September and DIP’s chief Major General Masud Rezwan in October had claimed the UN refugee agency and International Organisation for Migration were assisting the registration process.
The Tk 105-crore project was implemented by the department under the MRP and MRV project.
MRP and MRV project director Brigadier General Saidur Rahman Khan could not be reached as he was in Malaysia.
But another DIP official told New Age earlier that they were compiling the information of the Rohingyas so that they could obtain Bangladesh passport and national identification card and did not mix up with local people.
UNHCR estimated 7,21,732 new arrivals in Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 while the total number of Rohingyas was 8,87,661 individuals from 2,04,354 families.
An estimated 67 per cent of the Rohingya refugees are from Maungdaw township and 80 per cent of current population arrived between August and December 2017.
The last arrival of Rohingays was reported on May 10, 2018 when 28 Rohingya entered Bangladesh due to a hostile environment in their homeland.