Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burmese Border Guard Police (BGP) extorted money from villagers in Maungdaw Township recently for not participating in so-called population data collection or census by implicating false and fabricated case against the villagers, said Amin, a local elder from the locality. “Some of the BGP personnel from Kawar Bill BGP Headquarters accompanied by a group of military went to Balu Khali (Thay Chaung) village of Powet Chaung village tract under Maungdaw north on September 14, in the morning, and held a meeting in a primary school inviting local villagers to discuss about the so-called population data collection or census.”
When the villagers went to the primary school for meeting, the BGP and army surround the school and were arresting the villagers according to their list. The authority has a list of 41 villagers to be arrested, but, of them, they were able to arrest 16 villagers, said one of the participants in the meeting.
However, later, after interrogations, the authority released 12 villagers and the rest 4 villagers were brought to their camp and then sent to Maungdaw police station after implicating them that they had linked to Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO), the participant more added.
The authority has no other ways and means to arrest the innocent villagers, so the authority deliberately accused them; they had connection with RSO, a rebellion group of Burmese government, said Anwer, a local leader from Maungdaw.
“It is a deliberate design or strategy by the authorities to harass the Rohingya villagers because of not taking part in so-called population data collection or census”, said a political leader from Maungdaw Town who denied to be named.
The arrested are identified as—- Akram (25), son of Abdul Hakim; Noor Hakim (20), son of Peran; Moulvi Jubair (28), son of Kasim; and Shuna Meah (25), son of Gura Meah. The authority arrested our youths because they want to destroy our young generation. However, on that day, they were released after taking Kyat 200,000 per head, one of the relatives of the victims said.
Villagers have been facing many difficulties for only not participating in census or data collection because the authorities forced them to accept “Bengali” in placed of “Rohingya,” according to villagers.
The concerned authorities also seized or taking away family lists of Rohingya villagers who were not taking participate in census and accused them they had connection with RSO. As a result, villagers are being frightened to meet with the concerned authorities to take return their family lists, said another villager named Seraz.