1.2m Rohingyas entered BD since 1942
At least 1.2 million Rohingyas are now in Bangladesh since they began fleeing Rakhine State in the face of persecution that started in 1942 against the Muslim minority, locals said.
With the latest exodus to escape the fresh wave of shooting and arson attacks by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist monks, as many as 400,000 men, women and children have crossed over to Bangladesh in the last two weeks.
UNCHR however, estimates that only 32,000 Rohingya refugees are living in Bangladesh legally.
Meanwhile, the government says that some 500,000 Rohingyas are now in the country.
According to UNCHR Bangladesh Office, at least 40,000 Rohingyas escaped to Bangladesh during Second World War in 1942. At least 236,599 entered the country from 1978 to 1992. Rohingyas numbering 150,000 crossed over to the country in 2012. At least 87,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh in 2016. Some 400,000 Rohingyas sought refuge in 2017 and the rest were brought to the country by their relatives.
Kazi Reazul Hoque Chairman of National Human Rights Commission said Myanmar's persecution was tantamount to genocide. "This genocide needs to be tried at the International Court if needed," he said during a press briefing at the Deputy Commissioner's office in Cox's Bazar.
"The killing, arson, torture and rape of Rohingyapeople by the Myanmar military and border guards is unprecedented in the history of the world," he added.
He made the statement after visiting Rohingya refugees at registered and unregistered camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas of Cox's Bazar.
"The Rakhine State of Myanmar is a place of abundant natural resources and thus superpowers have their eyes on it," Reazul said.
These superpowers want to take control of it and that is why they are trying to eliminate the Rohingya people, Reazul added.
Myanmar border guards and military are continuing the barbaric torture and attacks on the Rohingya people and the international community needs to take quick action and exert pressure on the Myanmar government, he said.
United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Association of Southeast Asian Nations have to address this problem, he added.
"Neighbours India and China also have to address this crisis," Reazul said. National Human Rights Commission member Nurun Nahar Osmani and Additional Deputy Commissioner Anwarul Naser were also present at the briefing.
The government has mobilised 24 medical teams to treat Rohingyas as public health facilities appeared inadequate in southeastern region bordering Myanmar with continued surges of refugees, said an official on Monday.
"We have so far sent 24 mobile medical teams for them . . . 21 of them are in Cox's Bazar and the three others are operating in Bandarban as part of Ministry of Health initiatives for the hapless Rohingyas," he said.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim said in line with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's directives his ministry had decided to provide the maximum possible medical services to the refugees 'within our limited resources considering it a humanitarian issue'.
Bangladesh has moved to start collecting biometric details of Rohingya refugees, who have fled from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine.
The local administration in Cox's Bazar said on Monday that they have set up two booths, one at the Kutupalong refugee camp and the other at the new makeshift camp on the Balukhali Hills.
"The booths aim to collect data from 12,000 refugees," Executive Magistrate AKM Lutfur Rahman told the Daily Observer.
He said 17 booths would be set up in the Rohingya settlements across the district to collect details of the new arrivals and existing refugees.
The Department of Immigration and Passports is in charge of the project.
Fingerprints and pictures of the Rohingyas will be stored, said the project's Deputy Director Lt Col Shafiul Azam.
"We will also record their Myanmar addresses and when they entered Bangladesh," he said adding the refugees would be given ID cards, which they can use to access all kinds of support.