By Ruma Paul
DHAKA, Jan.29 (Reuters) – A group of more than 1,700 Rohingya Muslim refugees set sail for a remote island in the Bay of Bengal and more are set to leave on Saturday, a Bangladeshi navy official said, despite the concerns about the risk of storms and flooding ravaging the site.
They are the latest addition to the some 3,500 Rohingya refugees from neighboring Myanmar that Bangladesh has sent to Bhasan Char Island since early December, from border camps where one million live in dilapidated huts. we expect more than 1,700 people to arrive here, ”Commodore Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury, the officer in charge of the island, told Reuters on Friday by telephone.
Other Rohingya who had volunteered to settle on the island were being transferred to the nearest port city of Chittagong from the camps, he added.
“Tomorrow they will be transferred to Bhasan Char. All together we are expecting over 3,000 people, ”said Chowdhury.
The island, which emerged from the sea just two decades ago, is several hours’ journey from the southern port.
The Rohingya, a minority group that fled violence in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, are not allowed to leave the island without government permission. (Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)