Bangladesh Army has recommended setting up a barbed wire fence around Rohingya camps over security concerns.
Since there is no fence restricting movement outside the camps, Rohingyas might move to other parts of the country, according to a working paper on the proceedings of a Wednesday meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on defence ministry. The committee’s president Shubid Ali Bhuiyan presided over the meeting.
Refugees are living in 31 makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar. Army personnel have been working to ensure security in the camps since the beginning of the latest exodus of Rohingyas -- from Myanmar to escape persecution by its army -- in 2017 .
Bangladesh Army have been helping the local administration distribute relief materials, water and provide healthcare. They also conduct patrols around the areas with law enforcement agencies every day to maintain law and order there.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Let Gen Mahfuzur Rahman said there were 4 lakh children -- aged between 12 and 17 -- in the camps.
Saying that these children were not receiving any education, he observed, “They will become threat not only to Bangladesh but to the entire South-East Asia.”
Given the opportunity, they will spread across the country and international terrorist organisations will try to use them to serve their interests, he added.
The proposal comes at a time when the government is planning to form a second, special police battalion of 800 members to deal with the rise in crimes by refugees in Cox’s Bazar.
There are more suggestions from the district police to the police headquarters, including setting up a temporary court either in Ukhia or Teknaf, setting up three police stations and a number of police investigation centres, and installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at different points in the camps, along with a security fence around the camps’ perimeter.
According to data from the district police, 76 cases were filed against Rohingyas in 2017. The number has already risen to 187 till August 25 of this year. Around 471 cases have been filed against 1,088 Rohingya since 2017.