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Rohingya under Threats as They Reject ‘Illegal Bengali’ Tag

By Rohingya Eye ׀ Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Maungdaw, Arakan state ׀

Rohingya community in Maungdaw district is under heavy threats and oppressions by the authority as they keep resisting a forced scrutiny by the government classifying them ‘Illegal Bengali Immigrants, says a local Rohingya in Maungdaw.

A BGP Team in Oo Kye Kya (Oo Chin Gya) Village Northern Maungdaw, Attempting to Force Rohingyas to Accept "Illegal Bengali Immigrants Classification"
A BGP Team in Oo Kye Kya (Oo Chin Gya) Village Northern Maungdaw, Attempting to Force Rohingyas to Accept “Illegal Bengali Immigrants Classification”

The operation to forcibly brand the people as illegal Bengali originated to the beginning of the nationwide census in Myanmar on March 30.

However, the Rohingya people keep refusing to participate in the operation reasoning that they are not Bengali but Rohingya, an indigenous community of Arakan state now known as Rakhine state. Since then, the Myanmar government has begun to use various methods, from coaxing to harassments to extreme tortures, to make their plot successful.

A semi-monthly meeting between Maungdaw Township Administration and Village Administrators in the township was held in the meeting hall of the township administration on June 16. In the meeting, the Second in Command of Border Guard Police (BGP) announced that they would resume scrutinizing Rohingyas and register them as Bengali on June 21.

He threatened Rohingyas “if you do not participate in the operation, we will arrest your leaders and figureheads in your villages. We will arrest those who persuade others to refuse to take part in the scrutiny. Then, we will imprison them under the section 6/2.

We can’t imprison you all as we do not have space in the prison. Besides, we have to feed you if we do so. Hence, we will make your lives a hell outside. We will block you from travelling, ban your trades and restrict every aspect of your lives” said a village administrator declining to be identified.

On June 17, BGP blocked a fishing boat from setting off to the sea at Maung Ni hamlet of Myoma Kayindan village tract, Maungdaw Township. According to the sources, the BGP did so because the villagers had earlier refused to be registered as Bengali.

“BGP camp based in Ywet Nyo Taung village, northern Maungdaw, summoned the village administrators and five Rohingya elders from each of the 10 villages under its administration for meeting at their camp on June 19. In the meeting, he threated that the situation of Rohingys would be worse and dangerous they refused to be registered as illegal Bengali” a Rohingya in the village said.

Till date, Border Guard Police and Immigration have visited many Rohingya villages including Kyein Chaung village in northern Maungdaw so as to force the villagers to accept the brand of illegal Bengali immigrants. However, the Rohingyas are steadfast and still resisting the forced tag on them.

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