Innocent Rohingyas Arrested during Census Re-Enumeration
Buthidaung, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) — The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) have recently arrested two innocent Rohingyas as they came for taking part in the census re-enumeration process in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships respectively, according to reliable sources.
The Rohingyas do not will to participate in the process because they view it as a part of branding them as illegal Bengali immigrant and hence, alienation of ‘Rohingya’ from being an indigenous people of Myanmar (Burma).
However, the Rohingyas are pressured from different corners and forced to participate in the process. And when they come to participate in the enumeration process, many are arrested on arbitrary allegations. The two people are two of those many innocent people arrested all over the region since the process has begun.
“U Shuna Meah (son of) Abdul Hoque, 53; hails from Theing Taung Pyin village, Buthidaung Township arrived at the village administration office for participating in the census re-enumeration process on January 30. U Maung Thein, a Dinet (ဒိုင္းနက္) Rakhine and the administrator of the village, arbitrarily accused him of overstaying almost for two years away from his home during a journey and also not participating in the census conducted last year.
Then, the administrator reported to the Border Guard Police (BGP) for arrest and hence, the BGP arrested and detained in the Nyaung Chaung BGP Camp. Now, the BGP is demanding Kyat 700,000 Ransom for his release. Being poor, his family is unable to afford the amount. So, the innocent man has still been in detention” said a local Rohingya in Buthidaung asking not to be identified.
“The administrator is forcibly charging Kyat 2,000 for registration of new-born babies, Kyat 2,000 for removing the names of the people that passed away from the family list and Kyat 30,000 from the couples married after NaSaKa (the former Border Security Forces) Time.
The so-charging of money is all illegal and against the instruction of the central government” continued.
Similarly, it has been learnt that another Rohingya was arrested in southern Maungdaw yesterday.
“Abdul Manaf (son of) Abu Shamah was arrested by BGP around 3:40PM yesterday as he came to participate in the enumeration process. He was accused of travelling to Bangladesh and coming back home without permission. He was delisted from the family registration list. His family group photo was taken without him.
Afterwards, he was taken to BGP Camp in Alay Than Kyaw village also known as Haishshu Rata village in southern Maungdaw.
The villagers suspect the village administrator, Sayed Alam, is also behind the arrest and detention of the innocent person” an elderly Rohingya in the region said.
The Rohingya population was not counted during March-April 2014 Nationwide census enumeration because Rohingya didn’t accept the government-coined term ‘Illegal Bengali Immigrants.’ Recently, as the United Nations has urged Myanmar to give full citizenship to Rohingyas, the government resumed the census enumeration of Rohingyas and forcibly registering them under ‘Bengali’ ethnicity.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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