Maungdaw, Arakan State: Around 40 soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion [LIB] 342 landed in Thee Chaung [Balukhali] village market, north of Maungdaw, at around 2.30 pm on August 22 and looted a shop in front of many shoppers and other witnesses, a local village administration officer reported.
“The LIB soldiers who operate alongside Burma’s border security force Nasaka looted the shop owned by Mohammed Ali. The personnel picked up some goods from the shop and refused to pay for them,” said the officer.
“As the shopkeeper insisted for payment the soldiers got angry and beat up the shopkeeper badly and he received serious injuries. Many around witnessed the incident but none dared to intervene.”
The officer reported the mischief by the soldiers to the Township and District Administration Officers in Maungdaw.
When the LIB 342 soldiers got to know that what they had done at the Thee Chaung shop was in the notice of the senior administration officers in Maungdaw, they began hunting for the village administration officer who had reported the incident to his bosses.
The LIB men called all the local village administration officers to their camp, interrogated them and located the officer who was responsible who was responsible for the original complaint.
The soldiers then beat up the officer badly. Another village administration officer who said, what the soldiers had done at the shop was not right, was also beaten up. The two injured officers were released with a warning that they should not dare report the incident of the beating to anyone. However the news of the torture of the two officers by the LIB soldiers leaked outside through an elderly villager of Thee Chaung.
In another case security forces ganged up with local Rakhines and set ablaze several shops owned by Rohingyas in Khamaung Zeik (Fokira Baazaar) village in northern Maungdaw on 22 August. The razing fire was stopped just before it could engulf shops own by the Rakhines.
Rohingyas said, the fire was part of a communal conspiracy aimed at weakening the Rohingyas and it was hatched by none other than some Rakhines. Goods worth some billions of kyats, that were stuffed in the Rohingya shops, were destroyed in the blaze, a Fokira Bazar shopkeeper said.