The Burmese Buddhist Authorities vandalized and seized an Islamic Religious School in Maungdaw Township last Saturday morning, the eyewitnesses report.
The Basic Islamic Religious School also known as ‘Madrasa or Makhtab’ located at east ‘Pantaw Pyin (Nol Boinna)’ village in southern Maungdaw was partially damaged by the Komen Cyclone in July 2015. Hence, the religious committee (called GoPaKa) repaired the wall of the school structure/building and some other parts of it in early November.
Having the information of the servicing of the school building, the Border Guard Police (BGP) demanded Kyat 1.8 Million Fine from the village’s religious committee for the mending services though their (the BGP’s) henchmen/middlemen. Else, the Border Guard Police threatened that they would arrest and imprison the members of the religious committee. Thus, the school religious committee unwillingly gave the money to the middlemen to deliver to the Border Guard Police.
However, accusing that the BGP hadn’t received the money, a group of joint-authorities – comprising the head of the BGP from ‘Mangyi Chaung (Faatonza) No.12 Camp; Major Nyein Chan Aye, the commander of BGP from ‘Godusara Bridge Camp;’ the commander of BGP from Three-Mile Camp; along with other BGP Personnel; three staffs from the Township Administration; and a few staffs from the Religious Department — arrived at ‘Pantaw Pyin’ around 9:00AM on November 12. After that, they took the administrator of the village, U Furuk Ahmed, along with them and went to the place of the Religious School.
And they destroyed the Religious School by subjecting some of the locals to forced labour to destroy the religious school. After that, they seized and detained the religious school to prevent the local Rohingya Muslims from enrolling religious classes.
“The School committee gave the money as the fine although the servicing was just for a school. However, the authorities said that they didn’t receive any money. Either the money might have disappeared in the middle/used by the middlemen who are also the best-men of the village ‘administrator, Furuk Ahmed, or the authorities have lied.
But now, they have damaged and seized the school. We are unable to conduct classes anymore. Here, we don’t have any basic human rights including freedom to education and free-worshipping although we are sons of the soil,” said a local in Maungdaw.