msa April 20, 2017

By RVision TV Correspondent | April 20, 2017

Maungdaw – The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) have resumed usual tactics of oppressions of the Rohingya people and money extortions from them across Maungdaw district after the government declared the cessation of so-called ‘Region Clearance Operation’ in February.

The BGP has been posing threats to the locals in the Maungdaw District, which includes Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships, and accusing them with false allegations to extort money from them as they used to do it prior to the military offensives that began in northern Maungdaw in October 2016 under the name of ‘Clearance Operations.’

Approximately 20 BGP personnel conducted raids on the village of ‘Dudan’ locally known as ‘Ludaing’ and terrorized the villagers last night (on Apr 19) while the villagers were asleep.

“Around 20 BGP from the ‘Ngakura Camp’ entered our village with motorcycles at around 11:20 PM when many of the villagers were asleep. With no prior warnings given, they started firing. When the villagers got scared due to sudden terrifying sounds and began running to and fro, they started firing at them, too. Fortunately, no none was hit by bullets or got arrested”, said an elderly villager of ‘Dudan’ this morning.

“They are hunting us like birds. They don’t have respects for us as human beings” he added.

In Buthidaung Township, the newly appointed administrator of the village of ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ cooperated by the Military and the BGP in the region has recently extorted money from numerous villagers and also sent three village elders to Buthidaung Prison under false accusations, according to a local source.

“The new village admin, U Maung Gyi, a Rakhine ultranationalist, extorted money from many villagers with the help of the BGP and Military. On April 18, he threatened us not to go out of our houses between 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Else, he will make the military and the BGP shoot and kill us”, said villager on the condition of anonymity.

On April 14, the BGP camp at the village of ‘Horitolla (Quarter 8)’ in ‘Myint Hlut (Merullah)’ sub-township in southern Maungdaw ordered the village administrator to raise money from the villagers or make them provide ‘Nipa Palm Leaves’ in order to thatch the roof of the Camp.

A villager of ‘Horitolla’ said “the village administrator, U Hamidullah, said the BGP ordered him to collect Kyat 3,000 per person or a bundle of ‘Nipa Palm Leaves’ from the people who make their livelihoods by gathering the palm leaves and selling them to thatch the roof of the BGP camp here. Else, they will be punished by the BGP.

“Now, we are not allowed to go for fishing in the sea nor are we allowed to move around to make our daily ends meet. In this situation, forcing us to give them money or ‘Nipa Palm leaves’ to give them for free makes our lives extremely difficult.”

The Military and the BGP cooperatively extorted money almost entirely from the people of two villages, ‘Thappeik Taung and Kin Chaung’, with 600 households in Buthidaung Township on March 28 under a false pretext.

“The military based at the premise of the high school in ‘Sein Nyin Pyaa’ arrived at my village and accused the people of erecting fences to protect their homes using ‘the green tree branches’ [the Rohingya people across Maungdaw district were forced to remove their home fences last year]. Then, they threatened those villagers and extorted Kyat 10,000 for doing that and also extorted Kyat 3,000 from every household in the village”, said a villager from the village of ‘Thappeik Taung.’

Similarly, the Commander of the ‘Chaung Wa’ BGP at the village of ‘Kyun Pauk Pyu Zu’ under ‘Taung Pyo’ sub-township in northern Maungdaw have recently ordered the owners of the fishery ponds to stop going to the ponds.

“Because of the arbitrary order not to go to our fishery ponds, we are facing hardships in our lives. He is a racist and extremist trying to make our lives difficult. But the fishery owners in the neighboring regions can go to their fishery ponds. So, we request higher authorities of Myanmar to take actions against him”, a fishery owner told us via telephone.

The Border Guard Police (BGP) is a special Border Guard Police Force mainly deployed in the Rohingya areas in Arakan state and the successor of the now-abolished NaSaKa (Border Security Force) used to be notorious as the Rohingya exterminating machine.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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