Reazul Bashar, bdnews24.com
Published: 2020-12-04 12:15:36 BdST
Seven ships carrying 1,642 Rohingya people from Ukhiya reached the island at 2 pm Friday.
The ships departed Chattogram jetties around 10:15 am Friday, according to Lt Commander MKZ Shamim of Bangladesh Navy.
The refugees had gathered at the Ghumdhum Transit Camp near Kutupalong camp on Wednesday ahead of the move to Bhasan Char. On Thursday, they were moved to Chattogram in five bus convoys.
Six navy and one army vessels with Rohingya refugees seated on rows of benches on the dock departed Chattogram jetties for Bhasan Char in Noakhali on Friday, Dec 04, 2020.
The Rohingya refugees spent the night in the BAF Shaheen School and College transit camp upon reaching Chattogram.
They later boarded seven navy and army vessels headed for the Bay of Bengal island on Friday morning, with the authorities making seating arrangements for on the decks of the ships.
Two navy ships have already transported over 1,000 pieces of luggage belonging to the Rohingya to Bhasan Char on Thursday, navy officials said.
Two years ago, the government made plans to relocate a portion of the 1.1 million forcibly-displaced Rohingya people living in and outside the refugee camps along Bangladesh's south coast to Bhasan Char, situated in the Meghna River's estuary near Hatia.
However, the process of relocation failed to get off the ground due to the reluctance of the Rohingya refugees to move to the uninhabited island.
Bhasan Char currently shelters around 300 Rohingya, who were rescued at sea while on their way to Malaysia.
Later on Sept 5, a delegation of Rohingya refugees from the Cox's Bazar camps was sent on a visit to Bhasan Char.
However, the UNHCR and other international organisations have maintained distance from the government's initiative of relocating the Rohingya to Bhasan Char.
In a statement on Wednesday, the United Nations said it has not been involved in preparations for this movement or the identification of the refugees and has limited information on the overall relocation exercise.
The refugees headed to board a ship to move to Bhasan Char island in Noakhali on Friday, Dec 04, 2020.
The Human Rights Watch also urged the government to stop relocating the Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char.