Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has alleged that its trucks carrying relief materials for distribution among Rohingyas in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar, was obstructed by the government.
Party leaders who had come to distribute relief in Cox’s Bazar made these allegations at a press conference on Wednesday at the district BNP office.
They said that 22 of their trucks carrying relief were not allowed to proceed to Ukhia.
Till 11:00pm Wednesday night, the trucks remained parked by the Cox’s Bazar central Shaheed Minar in front of the district BNP office. The trucks contained rice, lentils, flattened rice (cheera), oil, salt, sugar, biscuits, water and other relief goods.
Former member of parliament from Cox’s Bazar and BNP’s fisheries secretary Lutfur Rahman told Prothom Alo, they had wanted to distribute relief goods among the Rohingyas in Ukhia’s Kutupalong and Balukhali camps on Tuesday, but as the prime minister Sheikh Hasina would be visiting the Kutupalong camp, this was changed to Wednesday morning.
The district administration changed this to Wednesday afternoon, on the excuse that diplomats would be inspecting the Kutupalong Rohingya camp. However, police prevented the trucks from going to Ukhia in the afternoon.
Cox’s Bazar deputy commissioner Mohammed Ali Hossain told Prothom Alo, according to government rules, the DC office must first be informed of any relief to be distributed among the Rohingyas. That has been followed so long.
He asked, if anyone took truckloads of relief among the thousands of Rohingyas, who would be responsible if anyone was killed in a stampede? There was no obstacle to distribute relief in keeping with the rules.
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference held at 3:00 pm in the afternoon at the Cox’s Bazar party office, BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said BNP wasn’t there for politics. It was there to distribute relief. It was a crime for the government to obstruct relief distribution.
He said they had brought relief materials for 9000 Rohingya families in Cox’s Bazar. They had wanted to provide roof materials for shelter to 3500 families. He said, “We will never hand over our relief goods to the government. BNP will not go according to the government or DC’s orders. We will provide the relief ourselves.”
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan told the press conference, everyone should be distributing relief to the Rohingyas, but the government is preventing BNP from doing so.