‘Bhasan Char off limits to public’

Staff Correspondent

7 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said the general public are not allowed to visit Bhasan Char without any necessity.

The minister made the remarks at a briefing on Wednesday after the first meeting of the ‘National Security Committee on Rohingya Coordination, Management and Law and Order’ held at the home ministry.

The home minister said, “We see many curious people making trips from Noakhali to Bhasan Char. I would like to inform this through you (journalists) so that the curious people refrain from going to Bhasan Char.”

 “This decision was taken at the meeting.”

The home minister said the Rohingyas were taken to Bhasan Char with their consent and no one was forcibly taken there.

Referring to the earlier decision to erect a barbed wire fence around the Rohingya camps, the Home Minister said, “I have said earlier that a barbed wire fence will be erected around the Rohingya camps so that the Myanmar nationals stationed in the camps cannot move and stay in one place.”

 “But now we will have a walkway and tower all around, not a barbed-wire fence. There will be CCTV cameras so that the security can be strengthened. It was decided to complete this work as soon as possible. The task will be completed by the Army,” he said.

The home minister also said two camp units have been set up for the safety of Rohingya. Police have been given the responsibility for internal security. The police will take the help of BGB and RAB if necessary.

Besides, there will be a camp of the army on the outside. They will patrol the area the way they are on the outside. But the police will be responsible for the entire security, said the minister.

Regarding drug trade in the Rohingya camps, the home minister said “Those staying in the camps occasionally move to Myanmar, where they bring yaba to trade. There have been occasional feuds over the sharing of its profits and losses, according to intelligence reports.”

 “As a result of those feuds, we have heard that there have been two or four murders. Police patrols will continue day and night to prevent it from escalating.”

Foreign Minister, State Minister for Disaster and Relief, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of AFD, Secretaries of Public Security Division and Security Service Division, IGP and representatives of various intelligence agencies were present at the meeting.

On December 14, the Cabinet Division formed a National Security Committee on Rohingya Coordination, Management and Law and Order and issued a gazette. The 17-member committee was formed with the Home Minister as the convener.