Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) threatened a Rohingya man and extorted money from him at gunpoint in southern Maungdaw Township last Friday, a reliable source in Maungdaw reported.

It has been learnt that three BGP personnel including their in-charge deputy lieutenant officer from the BGP Patrol Unit in ‘Kyauk Pandu’ village raided the residence of Mr. Karimullah Khalid Hussein at the village’s hamlet, ‘Zaydi Pyin,’ around 8:00 PM on August 28.

“The deputy station commander dragged Mr. Karimullah out of his house, beat him and ordered him to hand over his Bangala mobile phone to him. When he replied that he didn’t have any Bangala phone, the BGP officer pointed his gun at him and forced to admit that he possessed a phone. When he (Karimullah) was adamant, the BGP fired once in the air and threatened to kill him if he kept refusing.

Therefore, for the fear of the getting killed, he admitted he possessed a Bangala phone. After that, the BGP officer extorted Kyat 300,000 from him and left,” said a villager on the condition of anonymity.

The next morning on August 29, a few military personnel from ‘Kyauk Pandu’ camp inquired the villagers regarding the gun-firing the previous night. Upon that, the villagers replied that the deputy lieutenant of the BGP Patrol Unit fired the gun-shot at the residence of Mr. Karimullah.

The military returned to their battalion unit and summoned the BGP officer. They investigated him about the gun-firing. However, he replied to the military that he was an accidental firing.

“Although the military knew that it was a wanton firing to threaten to kill an innocent Rohingya man for ransom, the military didn’t take action against the cruel BGP officer,” said another local Rohingya.

 Myanmar’s Police has started to increasingly harass the local Rohingyas in Maungdaw Township, according to the local sources.

The police in Maungdaw frequently stop them, search their bodies for reasons, rob their belongings and extort money from them.

“Some police personnel from Maungdaw Police station always wait at a Rakhine residence — at the mouth of the street to ‘Boh Hmuu’ village opposite to ‘the Training Centre for Women Domestic Skill’ in Quarter 4 – for the Rohingya people coming from the rural areas to the downtown of Maungdaw.

The stop them and search their bodies for no reasons. They beat them, rob their money and belongings. It’s happening almost every day,” said an eyewitness in Maungdaw.

It has been learnt that, on August 22, the Maungdaw Police arrested Mr. Abul Hashim, hails from ‘Maadilla’ hamlet of Baggona village tract, from Maungdaw Municipal market on the allegation of inciting the violence in 2012. Later, the police released him having extorted Kyat 50,000 from him.

Similarly, on 25th August, while Mr. Mohamed Johar Abul Kasim, hails from ‘Nwa Ron Taung’ village in northern Maungdaw, was on his way to the downtown of Maungdaw, the police at the check-post of the ‘Myoma Kayintan-Myo Thu Gyi’ bridge stopped him. Upon searching his body, the police found out a gold chain he was brining from home to sell at the downtown.

The police extorted Kyat 20,000 from him saying “you, *Kulars, don’t have the rights to carry around Gold.”

*Kular= a derogatory term used against the people of Indian descends in Myanmar. Currently, it has been notoriously to target the Muslim population of the country.

Myanmar’s police extorted humongous among of money from a local Rohingya man in Buthidaung Township on August 22, a reliable report said.

The police in Buthidaung accused the Rohingya man, Mr. Ayub Khala hails from ‘Parung Chaung’ village, of plotting to attack nearby a Rakhine village and threatened to imprison him. Then, the man was nothing but an innocent man trading cattle and buffaloes locally.

 “U Rafique, a licensed buffaloes-cattle trader, handed around 100 buffaloes over to U Ayub to be looked after. On August 22, while he and his hired men was taking the buffaloes to his village Paraung Chaung across ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ village, the sun set and it became dark. Hence, he and his men used to torch lights to go across the village.

The next day, the respective village administrators of ‘Paraung Chaung’ and ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha,’ both are Rakhine extremists, arbitrarily lodged a police complaint accusing that he and his men plotted to attack a ‘Natala’ Rakhine hamlet in and ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ village tract.

Therefore, the police major Aung Ba Lay, the Township Police Commander, summoned U Ayub to the police station and beat him. Besides, the police commander threatened to send him to the prison. Using various other threats, the police officer extorted Kyat 1,500,000 from him.

Later, the he gave some shares of money to the above-mentioned village administrators,” said a local in Buthidaung Township.

This is not the first time that U Maung Than Htay, the administrator of Paraung Chaung’ village, and U Maung Chan Thar, the that of ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ village have forged cases to torture innocent Rohingya people and extort money from them. There are countless cases like this.

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Maung daw, Arakan state, Myanmar (Burma)
I am an independent man who voted to humanitarian aid.