Monday, 06 July 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A bridegroom was arrested and money was extorted by Burma’s border security force, Nasaka on March 23, at about 9 pm, on the allegation that he had visited his father-in-law’s house without permission from concerned authorities, said a close relative.   

The victim was identified as Pur Khan (25), son of Seraz from Thay Chaung (Balu Khali) village of Maungdaw Township.

It is not necessary to take permission to go to a father-in-law’s house. But, the Nasaka treats Arakanese Rohingyas as they want to. There is no law in Arakan State, Karen State, Shan State, Mon State, Karenni State, Chin State and Kachin State for the minorities, said a local youth.  

The parents of the bridegroom arranged an engagement with Asiya Khatun (20), daughter of  Hussain of the same village in Maungdaw township recently and also submitted an application  to the local Nasaka camp of  Nasaka area No. 3, for marriage permission soon.

On March 23, at about 7 pm, the bridegroom went to his father-in-law’s house to see the bride and to sort out the unsettled problems between the bridegroom and bride. It is also a custom of the Arakanese Rohingya community to pay a visit to the bride’s house before marriage.  And, this was informed to the local Nasaka camp by the Nasaka’s collaborator, said a local school teacher.

On being tipped off, a section of Nasaka personnel, at about 9 pm, went to Hussain’s house and arrested the bridegroom and brought him to the local Nasaka camp where he was detained to extort money.

It is a normal practice that when an Arakanese Rohingya is arrested by Nasaka, he/she is released after paying money. So, later, he was released after paying Kyat 175,000 to the Nasaka.

A local village elder on condition of anonymity said, “Nasaka extorting money from a bridegroom (to be bridegroom) for visiting his father- in- law’s house is human rights violation. There is no restriction on son-in-law’s from visiting his father-in-law’s house.”

The Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) campaigners are facing many difficulties in organizing local villagers in northern Arakan because of Nasaka’s arbitrary arrests and extortion from the Arakanese Rohingya community.  

“It is time for the ruling military junta to ease some of the restrictions towards the Arakanese Rohingya community such as---movement restriction, marriage restriction, and arbitrary arrest and extortion --- for successful campaign for the forthcoming elections,” said a local trader from Maungdaw town.