Maungdaw, Arakan State: Two Rohingya villagers were arrested and extorted by police recently over the allegation that they were involved in the violence occurred in June last year between Rohingya and Rakhine communities, said a close friend of the victims on condition of anonymity.
“The arrested were identified as Basa Meah (35), son of Fazal Rahman and Kala Meah( 26), son of Noor Mohamed. Both of them belong to Kilaidaung village of Maungdaw east.”
The first one was arrested by police on January 30, and the second man was on January 31 by police of Maungdaw police station, the friend added.
However, on January 30, in the evening, Basa Meah was released after taking Kyat 400,000 and two big cocks that cost at Kyat 15,000, said a relative of Basa Meah.
In similar way, Kala Meah was also released today in the morning, after taking Kyat 600,000. Earlier, two months ago, his father was also arrested by police in the same allegation and was released after paying Kyat 700,000, said a relative of Kala Meah.
“If anyone is involved in any crimes, he will be arrested and inquired before giving punishment. Without any justification or inquiry, taking money and release means, a kind of discrimination and pushing them into poverty,” said a business man from the locality.
Though the violence between Rakhine and Rohingya was happened on June 8 last year, many Rohingya villagers—including youths even boys over 10-year, knowledgeable villagers, rich man were arrested while many villagers were killed by security forces accompanied by some racist Rakhine mobs and some were sent to jail where they have been tortured inhumanly. But, the concerned authorities are arresting Rohingya villagers regarding the riot, so far, said a political leader from Maungdaw Town.
Not a single person of Rakhine community was arrested regarding the violence. So, this makes them encourage doing more attacks against the Rohingya community. The government declared that security forces are being deployed in northern Arakan to control the violence between two communities. The situation is eased overtly across the northern Arakan , but, covertly, the harassment against the Rohingya community is still going on, the leader more added.
Though the violence has been passed nearly eight months, the harassments of the security forces such as —police, Nasaka (Burma’s border security force), army and Sarapa (Military Intelligence) — have not been stopped against the Rohingya community, a trader from Maungdaw south said.
“After capricious arrest and torture, extorting money from villagers is a very solemn for the Rohingya community as they have no money and jobs while they have been kept in their villages,” said a villager elder who did not mention his name for security reason.