Friday, 22 February 2019
Maungdaw, Arakan State: Natala villagers have been stealing cattle from Rohingya villagers in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships after being settled in Arakan north, said a businessman on condition of anonymity.
For instance, in the wee hours of May 25, at about 2 am, a group of Natala villagers of Aung Thaya village carrying lethal weapons went to Maung Nama village to steal cattle. The Aung Thaya Natala village is only 1.5 km from Maung Nama village.
Five Natala villagers were secretly taking away a big bull from the owner’s cow shed at night.  But, they met one of the villagers on their way out. Seeing the Natala villagers with the bull, the villager raised a hue and cry, so some of the villagers including the owner of the bull rushed to the spot. But the Natala villagers had fled by then, said a relative of the victim.
When the Rohingya villagers approached the Natala village, the Natala villagers attacked them with their catapults forcing the Rohingya villagers to withdraw.
The owner of the bull is Nurul Islam (37), son of Mokhulur Rahman, hailing from Maung Nama village in Maungdaw Township. If he does not get back his bull, he will be unable to till his farm in the ensuing rainy reason. The animal is worth least Kyat 300,000, said a relative of the owner. 
The Natala villagers also steal cattle from Buthidaung Township. The Natala villagers go to Buthidaung Township from Maungdaw Township after negotiating the mountain passes of Mayu Mountain which separates the two townships. After stealing cattle from Buthidaung Township, they sell the mea tin the nearby market of Nasaka Headquarters in Maungdaw Township, said a villager from Tinmay village of Buthidaung Township on condition of anonymity.
The following day, the owner along with the village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) members went to the Nasaka Headquarters to complain. The Nasaka promise to investigate the matter, said a schoolteacher.   
The Natala villagers are notorious and have been brought by the regime to Arakan north from Burma proper for settlement in order to harass the Rohingya community and to depopulate Arakan of Rohingya people. They frequently steal cattle from the Rohingya community and sell meat at the market of Nasaka headquarters. The Natala villagers are never asked by Nasaka from where they get the meat to sell in the market as they have no cattle, said a friend of the victim.
The Natala villagers were encouraged by the authorities to harass Rohingya villagers, said a villager.
Earlier, the Natala villagers robbed, looting money and goods from Rohingya villagers. “Where do they get the courage to commit crimes against the Rohingya community coming from Burma proper”? asked a Rohingya elder.
Rohingyas are an unfortunate lot. Although, they are part of the Burmese race and have been living in Arakan for about a thousand years, they have been persistently subjected to persecution by successive Burmese regimes. In the past, Rohingyas were driven out from their homes more than once. Opposed to Burmese laws, the Burmese constitution and international laws, these ill fated people have been discriminated because of their race, religion, culture and language, said an advocate from Maungdaw town who declined to be named.