Maungdaw, Arakan State: The GE (Engineering Corps) personnel who came to Maungdaw Township from Buthidaung town to supervise construction of bridges committed injustices against three shopkeepers in Maungdaw Township on January 7, said a local businessman who prefers not to be named. 

The two shopkeepers have been identified as Md. Alam (22), son of Sodu, from Sarfaddin village, Abdu Samat (16), son of Osiur Rahman, from the same village, and one other shopkeeper.

The three have shops in the market and the GE personnel took goods from their shops without paying money for them. When the shopkeepers asked to be paid, the GE personnel said that they had no money to pay, but they would inform their captain. The GE members are engaged in the construction of a bridge over the Sarfaddin River.

According to the promise given by the GE members, the shopkeepers went to see the GE captain to inform him of the situation. As a result, the shopkeepers were asked whether the GE personnel took loans from them or not. The shopkeepers’ answer was positive. The shopkeepers were lined up when the captain asked questions from them, said a close relative of one of the victims.

Next, the shopkeepers were severely beaten up by the captain and told not to give loans to GE personnel in future. They were told if they gave loans to GE members, they would be fined 100,000 kyat, and their shops would be seized. After that, the shopkeepers were released without being paid any money.

This kind of behavior is meant encourage the GE members and demoralize the Rohingya community, said a local leader.