Headcount of refugees in Morang starts

Biratnagar, January 29:

The headcount of Bhutanese refugees at Sanischare refugee camp in Morang district started today. Meanwhile, data updating on 1,500 refugees in camps in sectors A-1 to A-5 has ended, the secretary at the Sanischare camp, Menuka Nepal, said.

A joint team led by Home Ministry undersecretary Surya Shrestha and an officer of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Davis, is ascertaining the number of refugees in the camp, the camp management office said. “Details of the refugees, including their dates of birth, the dates of their leaving Bhutan, house numbers and block numbers are being collected,” Nepal said.

Data on the number of refugees had not been collected after they started taking shelter in Nepal. However, the Refugee Coordination Unit under the UNHCR and the Home Ministry was keeping a record of the refugees internally.

The refugees have demanded that the government and the UNHCR re-register some 250 persons belonging to 60 refugee families in Sanischare. “The refugees have urged the authorities to later register the details of some 3,000 refugees who had to absent themselves from camp due to work,” Nepal said.

A report from Damak said the headcount of some 51,000 Bhutanese refugees in camp Nos 1, 2 and 3 in Jhapa concluded this week.

The headcount of over 300 refugees could not be done, and their relatives have urged the government and the UNHCR for their re-registration.

The headcount of refugees at Khudunabari, Goldhap and Timai camps in Jhapa will be done in a phased manner, the Refugee Coordination Unit Office in Chandragadhi of Jhapa said. “Identity cards will be given after the counting completes,” data officer at the unit office Niramalraj Khanal said.

The number of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal has crossed the 106,000 mark, he said.