555 more Rohingyas reach Bhasan Char from Chittagong

Another batch of 555 Rohingyas, from 149 refugee families, reached Bhasan Char in the eighth phase on Saturday under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy.

On Friday, they were taken to a temporary transit camp at BAF Shaheen College in Chittagong, where they stayed overnight, from a camp at Balukhali in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar.

From there, they were taken to the Patenga Boat Club on Saturday morning. The Rohingyas, including 225 men, 144 women and 244 children, left for Bhasan Char on two naval ships at around 10:30am.

Navy sources and Bhasan Char Camp In-Charge Nawsher Ibne Halim told Dhaka Tribune that the Rohingyas reached the island at around 1:45pm.

Before boarding the ships, the Rohingyas were given tokens and keys to the allotted shelter homes after various data entries, said sources.

Md Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Bhasan Char police station, said health workers conducted medical tests of the Rohingyas after they arrived.

Halim said the refugees were also provided hot meals afterwards.  Later, they were shown to their homes.

With the latest batch, 61 more Rohingyas also returned to Bhasan Char after visiting their relatives at the camps in Cox’s Bazar, taking the total number to 613 in this phase, according to the navy media wing.

The total Rohingya population at Bhasan Char is now 19,030, according to Halim.

The government has provided infrastructure of 120 cluster villages on the 13,000-acres of char land at a cost of Tk3,095 crore with its own fund to accommodate more than 100,000 Rohingya people.

The latest batch was relocated to cluster 56 and 66, said Halim.

On November 25, a batch of 379 more Rohingyas was relocated to Bhasan Char in the seventh phase after remaining suspended for eight months.

Some more Rohingyas are also slated to be relocated soon, said Shamsuddauja, additional refugee relief and repatriation commissioner in Cox's Bazar on Saturday. But he could not confirm the exact number.

Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in camps in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char.

Most of them have come to this country since August 25, 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive targeting the Muslim ethnic minorities.

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