The government yesterday made Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammad Abul Kalam officer on special duty and attached him to the textiles and jute ministry, according to a circular of the public administration ministry.
The Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission under the disaster management and relief ministry is responsible for providing humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, with support from the United Nations and the international community.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Kalam said he had been thinking of seeking a transfer due to his health condition.
He was appointed as the RRRC in February 2017.
The government decision came eight days after Rohingyas held a mammoth rally in Kutupalong of Cox’s Bazar, marking the second anniversary of the influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh.
They urged the international community to ensure justice for the atrocities committed against them by the Myanmar military. They also reiterated their demands for guaranteed citizenship and safe return to their homes in Rakhine.
The rally was held without the government’s approval. Many NGOs were blamed for helping the Rohingyas organise such a big meeting.
“We were not informed beforehand about the Rohingya rally,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told journalists in the capital on August 26.
Kalam yesterday said they formed a probe committee in this regard.
The three-member committee was formed on August 27, and it was asked to submit a report in seven working days, said an RRRC source.
Meanwhile, another circular of the public administration ministry yesterday said Mahbub Alam Talukder, director of the Department of Disaster Management, would replace Kalam as RRRC.
Thousands of Rohingyas had fled Rakhine in phases escaping targeted violence. In the latest spells, over 743,000 fled military atrocities, including killing, rape, torture, and burning of houses in Rakhine, since August 25, 2017. They joined around 300,000 others who had reached Bangladesh before.
Almost all Rohingyas have taken shelter in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. They have been living on humanitarian assistances provided by the Bangladesh government and international and national aid groups.