Sunday, 17 January 2021

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Villagers in Maungdaw Township are fleeing from homes to avoid being rounded up by Nasaka for forced labor in fence erection on the Burma–Bangladesh border, said a village elder on condition of anonymity. 

A Burmese Army Sergeant U Sein who came to Maungdaw Township earlier and camped in Nagakura village for security and supervising the fence construction went to Wabeg village of Maungdaw Township on November 15 and mobilized 10 villagers to work in the fence construction by promising that they would be paid Kyat 3,000 a day each.

The villagers, believing the false promise went to the work site of Ngakura village tract with him. But, after four days, when the villagers demanded their wages they were not paid. The authorities were quoted as saying “We came here to suck Rohingyas’ blood.”

Hearing this, the villagers on November 19 evening fled from the wok site without getting money for their work, said another villager.

The following day, the Sergeant went to the Nasaka camp of Wabeg village and filed a case against the villagers, who fled the work site. The Sergeant filed a case saying the villagers fled from the work site after taking Kyat 100,000 each, said a Nasaka aide on condition of anonymity. 

As a result, Nasaka personnel frequently go to their homes to arrest them, so the villagers have to keep fleeing from their homes to avoid arrest.  They have been passing their nights without sleep. They are also unable to work to support their families.  The family members are facing acute food crisis.

“How can the Rohingy people pass days and nights with such harassment towards the community?” a local trader asked.

The ran away villagers are identified as Mohamed Khasim, Jalal Ahmed, Aman Ullah, Kori Mullah, Md Rofigue, Abul Shama, Md. Jubair, Jaffar Alam, Md. Eliyas and  Md. Ismail.