Maungdaw, Arakan State: A group of Marawaddy Natala villagers picked up seven cows of a Rohingya villager – Habib Ullah ,50, son of Meah Husson, hailed from Waisha- on April 2 at about 4:00 pm while the cattle were grassing in the field nearby forest, said a local villager on condition of anonymity. Some Rohingya villagers saw Marawaddy Natala villagers drove the cattle to their village and informed Habib Ullah.
Being informed, the owner rushed to the spot where his cattle were grassing near the forest, but, he did not see his cattle there.
Immediately, Habib went to nearby a Nasaka camp and complained regarding the abducted the cattle, but the officer told him that they will investigate later, said a close relative preferring not to be named.
Today morning, some villagers including the owner went again to the Natala village (Marawaddy) to comb the cattle, but the Natala villagers said that they did not know the matter, a villager elder said.
According to villagers, mostly cattle of Rohingyas are always grassing in the field nearby forest, Natala villagers frequently pick up the Rohingyas’ cattle.
“How the Natala villagers (small numbers) dare to pick up the cows of Rohingya villagers (majority people) without getting encouragement from the security force?”, said a local student.
Since violence between Rakhines and Rohingyas last year June, 2012, cattle, goats and fowls owned by Rohingya villagers were stolen and picked up by Natala villagers and security forces— Nasaka, army, Hluntin. Police, villagers said.
Who are the Natala villagers? Natala villagers are new settlers in northern Arakan, who were brought to Arakan by government from Burma proper. They are poor and drug addicted persons and also long term convicts. They were pursued by the government to give them— houses, money, lands, cows, food, and others. The government fulfilled its commitment with Natala villagers by giving them from Rohingya community with the help of security forces—Nasaka, police, army and Hluntin.
Recently, Maungdaw high officials –U kyi San, the township admin officer and U Aung Myint Soe, the district admin officer – bring Rakhines from Bangladesh hill tract who are poor and hardworking people in the jungle. The two officers brings these Rakhines to settle between Rohingya villages and to make de population of Rohingya in Northern Arakan, said a politician from Maungdaw.
“Rohingya villagers are being kept under the movement restriction, no jobs and no money to buy anything, and no access to do any work to support their family members. And also there is no security for their properties. At these circumstances, how the Rohindgya community will survive in Arakan?”, asked a village leader with a great disappointment.