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Govt to use biometric tech to enlist Rohingyas

Intel agencies increase vigil on refugees: CTTC Chief

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10th-Sep-2017       
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Sagar Biswas :
The government has decided to enlist the Rohingya refugees using biometric technology in a bid to thwart possible terror threat and also avert complications during their return in the future.
"The decision of using biometric technology for Rohingya refugees has been taken in the meeting of district administration. The new refugees, those entered Bangladesh after August 25, would be brought under the system,"   Additional Deputy Magistrate of Cox's Bazar district Khalid Mohammad said on Saturday.
"To trace them easily, we will also take their photographs along with finger impressions. Not only that, we have started a process for keeping the new comers at a selected place. So, the district administration is trying to get 5,000 acres of land of Forest Department in Balukhali area. The work will start very soon," Khalid Mohammad said.
The decision of using biometric technology has taken at a time when the government is apprehending probable outbreak of terrorism using the young generation of Rohingya refugees.
Security officials said the intelligence agencies have increased vigilance in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar district and its surrounding areas so that none of them could be recruited by any terrorist outfit.
Head of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit Md Monirul Islam on Saturday said, "The intelligence agencies are in vigil so that militancy issue could not be gear up again using the Rohingya refugees. Besides, precautionary measures have been taken as none could use Rohingya issue for political violence or create unstable situation in the country."
Intelligence reports earlier had mentioned that Rohingya terror group Aqa Mul Mujahideen [AMM] was in touch with terrorist outfits active in Jammu and Kashmir including Lashkar-e-Taiba [LeT] and Jaish-e-Mohammed [JeM].
The AMM emerged from Harkat-ul Jihad Islami-Arakan [HuJI-A] in Myanmar. The terrorists of the AMM were said to be trained in Pakistan. The AMM had been held responsible for bombing in border regions of Myanmar, the reports added.
Not only that, senior ministers, including Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, recently have expressed grave concern about the possibility of entering arms and drugs with the influx of Rohingyas.
"The government is very much concerned about possible conspiracy of local and international axis with the trafficking of arms and drugs when Rohingya influx continues. The Government is now facing history's hardest challenge," Obaidul Quader said on Saturday.
Local sources said that a good number of Rohingya refugees have already taken shelter in different upazilas of Chittagong and other parts. In this regard, Khalid Mohammad further said, "Those went to other districts will be brought in the refugee camps….So far we've identified 17 points through which the Rohingyas are entering Bangladesh."
A recent report prepared by Indonesia-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict warned that Islamic State-backed terror groups may catch the Asian region off-guard by using Rohingyas. So, the Rohingya insurgency can be a new phenomenon along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
According to the report released on May, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army [ARSA], previously called Harkat al-Yakin or the Faith Movement, has been trying to get money, arms and training support from other South Asian radical groups.
"The existence of an armed group on the border with mounting attacks on Myanmar security forces could inspire pro-ISIS groups in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia to do more systematic recruiting among their respective Rohingya communities to find individuals willing to carry out attacks on their own," it further said.
About 3,00,000 Rohingya people - an estimated 80% of them women and children - have crossed into Bangladesh since 25 August, when ethnic Muslim militants attacked 24 police posts and one army base. Apart from them, about 5, 00,000 Rohingya refugees are staying in Bangladesh since 1982, officials said.
Although satellite images and other sources confirmed that Myanmar army was involved behind torching houses of Rohingyas, the Burmese government claimed that "terrorists" were behind the arson attack on 2600 houses. Some recent pictures, released in mainstream and social media, showed that columns of smoke were seen rising from several houses in the empty Rakhine villages.   

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