9,000 logged in nine days
Around 9,000 Rohingya refugees have been brought under biometric registration in nine days after the listing began on September 12.
Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, relief and disaster management minister, yesterday said all the Rohingyas, now in Bangladesh fleeing persecution in Myanmar, would have their biometric registration completed within two months.
Currently, Rohingyas, only above 12, are eligible for the registration, said Magistrate KM Lutfar Rahman, who is looking after the registration process in Cox's Bazar.
Nur Kolima, a 14-year-old Rohingya girl who received her biometric registration card at Naya Para camp in Teknaf yesterday, said it was the first time she got an ID card.
Kolima, her two elder brothers and their mother had got their coupons for the registration from officials concerned who had visited their camp. However, her two siblings, aged 7 and 10, did not get the coupon.
"I feel good to have the card. But it would have been better if my younger siblings had got that as well," said the girl whose father has been killed by the Myanmar army.
Like the two kids, tens of thousands of Rohingya children would have their biometric registration later.
Contacted, Director General of Department of Immigration and Passports Brig Gen Masud Redwan said the authorities would start the biometric registration of the children once they were done with the registration of other refugees.
He said the registration would be carried out through retina scanning as they preferred not to take fingerprints of children for the registration.
The Unicef estimates almost half of over 400,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children.
Nearly 3,000 Rohingyas had their registration done at the Naya Para camp after the listing began there on September 14.
"We are taking their names and addresses in Myanmar, date of arrival here, age and parents' name for the registration," said Lt Col Md Mahbubur Rahman Khan, in-charge of the registration centre.
He said they had only 12 computers at the centre and that was why they were taking time for the task. The staff of the centre also was complaining about load shedding, he said.
District administration office sources said another 6,000 refugees were registered at the Kutupalong camp, which began the registration on September 12.
The administration would open two more camps in Balukhali and Thyingkhali for the work soon, said the sources.
At a press conference at his ministry yesterday, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Maya said, "From today, 30 registration booths are operating to speed up the biometric registration process."