October 24, 2016
Four Maulavis were brutally assaulted by the military after they were called to a meeting in Rajar Bil, Rathedaung.
On Monday, a Tatmadaw team comprising of around 50 soldiers came to the village tract and asked the headman (Aishwaramu) about the number of Maulavis in the area. The Aishwaramu informed them there were 12 Maulavis in the area.
The Maulavis were asked to come and meet the army but only four obliged, the rest fearing torture and death fled the area. As soon as they came in to the presence of the army, the officers accused them of being late and started kicking them. The assault resulted in serious injuries for the victims. They have been identified as Abdul Shukkur, 40, Hafez Ahmed, 35, Fazal, 30, and Md Hossain, 30.
The army then declared the eight Maulavis who did not heed their call were supporters of a Bangladesh based terrorist outfit. They ordered the village authorities to be vigilant about them and immediately dig for information that would lead to their capture.
Later however, four of the missing Maulavis managed to negotiate a settlement with the payment of 240,000 kyats through the Aishwaramu. They have been identified as Ataullah, 40, Ataullah, 35, Rahim Ullah, 33 and Nobi Hossain, 30.
The Aishwaramu however declared he would not be able to manage a settlement for the other four as they have been less forthcoming. Latest reports suggest these four men have remained missing from the area fearing torture or even death in the hands of security forces. Their family members and sympathetic locals expressed hope a settlement could also be negotiated in their case, even though they have not been involved in any wrong doings.
In the last few days, the authorities have intensified the blockade on local Rohingyas leading to increased food shortages, worsening an already volatile situation. Muslim activists allege the denial of food is a well planned strategy implemented since 2012 to gradually starve the Rohingyas out of the area. Many villages in Rathedaung have seen a steep decrease of the Muslim population in the last few years.