By Tin Soe

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Three men, including an active Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) head, were arrested for allegedly raping two young women on December 29, according to a member of VPDC from Kyaukpandu village.

Hashim Ullah, the active VPDC head, is a former VPDC member who was promoted to serve as the active head of his village after the last head of the village, Rafique, was found guilty in a rape case of a school teacher last October 2010, the member said.

“The allegation was made by two Rakhine from the Kodankauk Village of Rathedaung to the Burma Border Security Force (Nasaka) area number 8 in Myint Hlut,” the village member added.

The two Rakhine were U Maung Kyaw Kine, the father of an 18 year-old girl, and U Kyaw Tin Maung, the father of a 21 year-old girl, both from a Natala (model) village of Kodankauk, according to a village elder from Kyaukpandu. “We have heard that the two girls are not of good character and have worked as sex workers.”

The two Rakhine filed the rape case against the VPDC head along with two other villagers, Moulana Kafayet Ullah and Hashim, on December 29 at Myint Hlut Nasaka camp where the three Rohingyas are being detained and Nasaka personnel who hope to extort huge money, he said.

The two Rakhine complained in the file that their daughters were hijacked and raped by Rohingya men on December 19–20, and were later released to their village. “It is unknown why the two Rakhine waited until December 29 to file the case against the active village head and the other two Rohingya.”

On the other hand, some village authorities from Maungdaw remarked that the former village head of Kyaukpandu, Rafique, may be behind this case to dismiss the active village head, said a school teacher from Alaythankyaw village.

“The former village head, Rafique, organized the two fathers of the Rakhine girls to file the case against the active village headman,” the teacher said.

The teacher believes the crime as reported could not have been committed because it would not have been possible for the three men to kidnap the two girls as there is an increased number of authorities helping Natala Villagers in northern Arakan. “How could the Rohingya pass with the Rakhine girls through the Natala Village?” the teacher asked. “The two girls were not shouting when they passed through the village.”

“Most of the villagers believe that this whole case is a trap to dismiss the new active village headman from his post and cause his supporters to lose money.”

It is learned that the said two Rakhine girls were traveling from Ahngumaw to Kodankauk when they met nine Rohingya men riding motorbikes to Kyaukpandu. The two girls asked the men to drop them at their village as the Rohingyas were going same way. Kodankauk Village is between Ahngumaw and Kyaukpandu.

According to the filed complaint, the Rohingya didn’t stop at the Rakhine girls’ village, but passed the village and took the girls to Kyaukpandu. The incident reportedly happened on December 19, and the case was filed on December 29 at the Myint Hlut Nasaka camp. The girls were taken to the Alaythankyaw Clinic of Maungdaw South for medical test on December 29. The clinic’s personnel advised the girls to go to the Rathedaung Hospital.