Maungdaw, Arakan State: Three young cowboys were arrested by army on December 30, while grazing cows on paddy field – After harvesting – nearby their village of Maungdaw south, Arakan State, Burma, according to a close relative of the victims. “The arrested cowboys are identified as—Rashidullah (17), son of Mohamed Nazir, Rafique (16), son of Imam Hussain, hailed from Zaw Metet village and Jubair (20), son of Ahmed Sharif, hailed from Thayaigontan village.”
On that day, at about 12 noon, a section of army from Thayaigontan Rakhine (Natala) village went to the grazing ground and tried to arrest some cowboys without any provoking, so all the cowboys were fleeing to avoid the arrest leaving their cows in the grazing ground. However, the above said the three cowboys had been arrested by the army, brought to Maungdaw Town and handed over to the Maungdaw police station, the close relative more added.
Some Rohingya elders said, the army tried to attempt to rape a Rohingya female – Fatema, not real name – but failed as Fetayma screamed out for help and all the Rohingya villagers rushed to the spot and save the fatema on December 29.
The army angered with villagers as they are not able to rape the Rohingya female, so started to arrest anyone who will meet with them on December 30 and alleged with false case of rape to Rakhine girl, the elders said.
Besides, all the cows (nearly 100 cows) were brought to nearby Natala (model) village by the army, but the next day, all the cows had been returned to the owners.
Hearing the news, in the evening, the parents of the victims went to the police station to see their sons. But, police said to the parents that the arrestees were involved in the rape of a Rakhine woman, so they will be sent soon to Buthidaung jail after filing a rape case against them, a friend of the parents said.
“It is a deliberate action against the Rohingya youths. How can they rape a Rakhine woman in the open sky where many cowboys were grazing their cows in the paddy field?,” said a village elder on condition of anonymity.
Another local leader said, “The situation is very bad for Rohingya community in Arakan State, in such situation, the Rohingya youths will not dare to commit such crime against the Rakhine woman.”
A village businessman said, “We hear that a Rakhine woman is motivated by army to appear at court and to say that the arrestees had committed rape against her.”
Over 100 armies led by Deputy commander Major Rey Wint Aung of light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 352 has been taking station at Maungdaw south to oppress the Rohingya villagers after the violence between Rakhine and Rohingya communities in June 2012. But, authority declared that the armies are for controlling from further clashes between two communities, a schoolteacher said from Maungdaw Town.
When contacted the Maungdaw police station, no one is holding the office phone.
A local youth said, “How can we live in our village, the concerned authority does such kinds of fabricated allegation against to us.”