Monday, April 28, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan– Maungdaw Police arrested and detained caretaker of Central Mosque of Maungdaw (also called Munchi’s Mosque) for putting up fence to prevent animals from entering Mosque’s premise. The police released him after a few hours later after warning him not to repair any of its parts in the future.
“Central Mosque of Maungdaw located at Quarter 4 of the township has been locked down by Myanmar authority since June 2012. No Muslim is allowed to pray in the mosque. The mosque has extremely deteriorated since then. Some parts of its 5 feet tall brick-wall have up to just one foot.
Therefore, caretaker of the mosque, U Mohammed Siddique (age 60), has put up fence (made of bamboo) to prevent animals from entering the premise of religious building. Upon that, Maungdaw Police arrested and detained him for hours on 25th April 2014 afternoon. He was released in the evening upon requests by some community leaders” said a local in Maungdaw.
However, Police warned the caretaker not to repair a single part of the mosque or its premise in the future.
“The Police said to him ‘we need to know what happens in the mosque. We need to know if you pray in it or not. You can’t repair any part of the mosque as it is locked down. If you do, we will take stern action against you.’
Now, we feel that the authority will never allow us to pray in the mosque. It is the Central Mosque of Maungdaw Township. What has the mosque to do anything with the situation here? So, it is clear that government doesn’t want us to freely practice our religion” he added.
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