Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) arrested village sentries on January 1 morning, in Maungdaw Township alleging that they were absent from sentry posts, said a close relative of one of the victims. 

Every night villagers in Maungdaw Township have to provide sentry duty in their own village on the orders of Nasaka. The Nasaka or the police go to the sentry post occasionally to check and find faults.  The Nasaka fine them both in cash or kind, like chicken. Sometimes they are taken to their camp and forced to work without food. After sunset they are set free.

The arrested guards were identified as Habi Ullah (35), son of Baro, Abul Hussain (35), son of Md. Ismail, Shaker (42), son of Mostaq Ahmed, Sayed Islam (57) and Hamid Hussain (42), son of Basa Meah. They all belong to Kular Bill village of Maungdaw Township. They were arrested by Nasaka for being absent from the village sentry post, said a neighbour.  

Among them, Hamid Hussain is the head of a 10 -member family in the village. He was arrested on the accusation that he had not gone to remind the village sentries the day before.

However, they were released after paying Kyat 50,000 each in the evening, said a  family member of one of the victims. 

It was not the fault of the village sentries because they were not informed properly and in time by the concerned person that they were supposed to be on duty the next day.  But, they were arrested by Nasaka to extort money.

“If the Nasaka finds a small fault against the villagers, they extort money from them,” said a village elder on condition of anonymity.