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18 January, 2019 04:26:10 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 January, 2019 04:34:29 PM
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Came from India, ‘1,300 Rohingyas now in Cox’s Bazar transit point’

Exact number to expected to be determined soon: official
Independent Online Desk
Came from India, ‘1,300 Rohingyas now in Cox’s Bazar transit point’
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. File Photo

Rohingya Muslims, not less than 1,300, who entered Bangladesh from India recently, are now staying at Ukhia upazila’s Balukhali transit point, said an official here on Friday, reports UNB.

“At least 1,300 Rohingays fled India and entered Bangladesh since the beginning of the new year. They’ve been kept at a transit point,” said Saikat Biswas, an official at Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG).

They (Rohingyas) will not be sent to Rohingya camp right now and they are now under the supervision of UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammad Abul Kalam said the exact number of Rohingyas arrived here from India will be determined through proper identification of those living in various places instead of the transit point.

On January 4, the UN refugee agency sought clarification from India over the return of Rohingya and regretted the India's decision.

"UNHCR regrets India’s decision to repatriate a group of Rohingya to Myanmar, the second such return in three months," said the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR said it continues to request access and seek clarification on the circumstances under which the return has taken place.

A family of Rohingya asylum-seekers from Rakhine State, registered with UNHCR in India, was sent back to Myanmar after being detained in India’s Assam, where they had been serving a prison term since 2013 for illegal entry into India.

Despite repeated requests, UNHCR said, they did not receive any response from the authorities in India regarding requests for access to individuals in detention to ascertain their circumstances and assess the voluntariness of their decision to return.

This is the second such incident since October 2018, when India returned seven Rohingyas to Rakhine State in Myanmar, where conditions are not conducive to return, according to UNHCR.

There are an estimated 18,000 Rohingya refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in India, living across different locations, it said.

Despite Bangladesh’s “serious efforts” to resume the halted repatriation process, the recent deteriorating condition in Rakhine State of Myanmar has brought “much worries” among all concerned, clouding the repatriation prospect, officials indicate.

More Rohingyas, not in a big number, entered Bangladesh territory in recent days amid the further deteriorating scenario in Myanmar, they said.

In recent weeks, the intensification of violence between the “Arakan Army” and the Myanmar Army has led to increased humanitarian consequences for the civilian population and caused displacement of nearly five thousand people in Rakhine and Chin States.

BK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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