By HA Maung
Maungdaw, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) — The Myanmar Border Guard Police has escalated seizing internet-connected electronic devices such as smart phones and other devices from Rohingya people in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships, some reliable sources say.
Meanwhile, the motive behind the seizures of the devices from the people has not exactly been known. But locals view the action as disabling them from sending the reports of the atrocities against them to international media. And hence, to silence their voice!
“A Rohingya man from Buthidaung was arrested in Maungdaw with the possession of a mobile phone with internet connection on December 2. So, during the investigation, he said he had bought the phone from an electronic shop called Hitachi located in Quarter 2.
So, the Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested Zeyabul Hoque (son of) Hamid, 25, the owner of the shop. He was handcuffed and taken to Buthidaung prison. Now, the BGP demand Kyat 1oM for the release for Zeyabul Hoque” said a local in Maungdaw on condition of anonymity.
“Similarly, on the same day, the BGP raided two other Rohingya-owned electrical and electronic shops: one owned by Hasan Johar (son of) Jamil, 21; and Qaif (son of) Mv Hamid, 22.
In the former’s shop, his computer was checked. No illegal material was found. But the police seized two smart phones with internet connection and an ordinary phone saying that they had found a Bangla number in the contact list.
In the latter’s shop, his computer was checked as well. Nothing illegal was found. One smart phone and an income tax recipient were confiscated. After half an hour, the police returned his phone but not the receipt.
All other electronic shops were raided. Therefore, the other Rohingyas closed their shops in fear” he continued.
The raid to confiscate electronic devices didn’t end just on Tuesday. They did the similar raids yesterday as well.
“A joint operation including Maungdaw Regional Security Police (နယ္ထိန္း အဖဲြ႕) the two electronic shops owned by the two brothers: Abbbu (son of) Yousuf, 25, and Khatu (son of) Yousuf, 23, respectively.
They checked the computer of the former and confiscated two smart phones from his shop. After, the police arrested him and took him away. The latter brother’s computer was checked but he was not arrest. The shops are located in the downtown of Maungdaw” an elderly Rohingya reported.
“We feel that there is some unfortunate things may happen against us. Therefore, the government forces are disabling our means of communication first” he added.
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