Allegations of collection of personal info of Rakhines in coastal region by DGFI

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Hill Voice, 1 January 2023, Special Correspondent: Like the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the coastal areas of the country including Patuakhali and Barguna districts, the army intelligence agency DGFI has been accused of collecting the personal information of the leaders of the indigenous Rakhine people. Many have considered this as an indication of the military’s imposition of dominance over the indigenous people and political interference in the general administration.According to a local source in the coastal region, at the end of December 2022, a person introducing himself as a DGFI man of Patuakhali District provided a ‘Personal Identification (Rakhine)’ form to the leading people of the Rakhine community and instructed them to submit the form by filling it without delay.

The form include 25 types of information, such as, name and photograph, father’s name, permanent and temporary address in Bangladesh, address outside Bangladesh, date of birth, age, identification mark, height and caste, educational qualification, religion, marital status, information of parents and siblings in family relation, name of husband/wife, names of kids, national ID number, mobile number, passport number, email address, facebook ID, special qualifications, contributions for community, involvement with social or political organizations or groups, blood group, foreign links or relation, potential activities, financial status, other important information etc.

The questions have also been raised as to whether it is the task of the military intelligence agency to collect the personal information of the leaders of the indigenous Rakhine community. On the other hand, the formulating prescribed forms specifically for the Rakhine population has raised questions as to what the DGFI’s motives are for collecting data.

In particular, the collection of personal information by creating a special form for the Rakhine people has caused extreme concern and fear among the Rakhine people.