• Monday, Mar 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:36 pm

Ex-Sunamganj panel mayor jailed for giving Rohingyas birth certificates

  • Published at 02:57 pm January 26th, 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

He surrendered before the court around noon in the case and sought bail."The court turned down his plea," said court Inspector Selim Newaz

A Sunamganj court on Monday sent former panel mayor Hossain Ahmed Rasel to jail rejecting his bail plea in a case filed over giving fake birth certificates to two Rohingyas. 

He surrendered before the court around noon in the case and sought bail."The court turned down his plea," said court Inspector Selim Newaz.

Arrest warrants were issued for Sunamganj Municipality Mayor Nader Bakht, Rasel, district bar association member Kawsar Alam, municipality's birth registrar Md Selim Uddin, and its assistant VAT officer Pijush Kanti Talukder on January 20. A day later, Nader and Kawsar secured bail from the court the next day. 

According to case details, two Rohingyas went to Sunamganj from Teknaf camp with the help of four men to get passports with fake documents on April 4, 2019. The four men are residents of the district's Jamalganj upazila. They submitted necessary documents for passports that day. 

Passport officials became suspicious and detained the six men before handing them over to police. A case was filed against the six men at the Sadar Police Station. The Rohingyas took birth certificates with the recommendation of Rasel and they were attested by lawyer Kawsar. 

Police pressed charges in court against the four men who had helped the Rohingyas on October 20 last year. Later, the names of five others - Nader, Rasel, Kawsar, Selim and Pijush - included in the list of accused. 

Rohingyas obtaining Bangladeshi passports illegally

Thousands of Rohingyas had previously managed to illegally obtain Bangladeshi passports to go abroad. Although there is no specific data on the exact number, in 2015, the then expatriates' welfare minister said at least 50,000 Rohingyas had gone abroad with Bangladeshi passports. 

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. Creating a biometric database on the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals has helped prevent many Rohingyas' obtain Bangladeshi passports using fake documents. 

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