September 9, 2013
A local militia unit in full uniform and brandishing rifles allegedly robbed 20M Kyats from a Rohingya family in Maungdaw Township on Sept. 3, according to a source that wished to remain anonymous. The source told the Kaladanpress that group of 14 armed men broke into Baser’s home; son of Amir Hamza, in Seail Khali (Kyauk Chaung) village at about midnight.
The militia that is thought to be made up of Rakhine, Sakma (Dinet) and recently resettled Rakine or Burman villagers (Natala) reportedly broke the door down. After gaining entry all of Baser’s family members were confined to one room where they were severely beaten up and robbed of money and gold possessions. One of the victim’s relatives that also didn’t want their name used for security concerns said they recognized the Sakma men as being from Sombala village under Area 3.
A local elder that also wished to remain anonymous pointed out with so many security camps nearby the group have to be receiving support for their uniforms and arms. It’s unlikely they would be able to pull it off without approval of state security forces.
After the family reported the attack and robbery police told them that action will be taken.
But other than the report they didn’t have any information about the case.
On the same day, police from Area 4 arrested Nazu, 35, the ex-village chairman; son of Nasu Meah and Lalu, 53; son of Abu Ahmed over allegations of sheltering strangers in their homes. Police had no evidence, but they still asked for 1M Kyat each for their release, said a relative named Lalu. The men were sent to the Maungdaw town police station for further action after refusing to pay the bribe.
In the evening, Area 3 police arrested Hamid Hussain, 45; son of Abdul Goffur, from Naisadaung village for the same allegations. Hussain was arrested and released after paying a 500, 000 Kyat bribe, said Kala Meah (not their real name) who witnessed the events.
Area 4 police also extorted money from Bawli Bazar market shop owners last week. One shop owner that didn’t want their name used told the Kaladanpress that police came at about 2 pm and collected between 3000 to 5000 Kyats from the 250 shops in the market. A police aid confirmed the collection fees that were levied against market merchants with the Kaladanpress on condition of anonymity.
Maungdaw police officers also went to Rohingya villages on a supposed security detail, but instead entered residents’ homes to steal meat, fish, and whatever else they could find, one elder said on condition of anonymity.
“These happen every night,” said the elder who like others that have been affected is growing concerned about the increase of harassment by state authorities since the government dissolved the notorious Nasaka and replaced them with a national police force and army.