March 6, 2017
Teknaf- A man remains missing after his family refused to accept the NVC in But Kar Gone Nah, Maungdaw South while the women of his household have fled to Bangladesh the after being threatened with abduction.
Abu Shama, 27, was arrested more than two weeks ago and there is no information regarding his whereabouts with family members fearing the worst.
His sister Noor Fatema fled to Bangladesh along with other family members on February 22.
Trouble started on the morning of February 19 after their father, an elderly and influential man turned down the orders of five Tatmadaw officials who had visited his house to order him to accept the NVC and set an example for the rest of the village. The family refused as the NVC did not recognise them as Rohingyas, and instead as Bengalis. In response, the security forces apprehended Abu Shama and said he would face torture in custody.
The family later said they were willing to negotiate, but the security forces raised their demand and said they will also have to pay 500,000 kyats for the release of Abu Shama. The family gathered 300,000 kyats with great difficulty and paid the Tatmadaw men. After accepting the money, the Tatmadaw however said it was not enough and made a threat that the female members of the family would now be abducted.
Faced with a difficult choice, Noor Fatema and the others crossed over to Bangladesh.
But there is still no information regarding the whereabouts of Abu Shama.
Sources also say the other villagers in But Kar Gone Nah are under immense pressure to accept the NVC. There are fears that others might also be abducted and tortured for refusing the controversial scheme. Severe movement restrictions have been imposed in the area with many villagers eying food shortages as they are prevented from going to work.