Fresh raids in Ta Mi area, many arrested


military 2016

June 13, 2017

Buthidaung- Tensions are running high in the restive village tract of Ta Mi in Buthidaung North after a huge military force surrounded the area on Saturday to search for terrorists, according to our correspondent in the area.

They seemed specially to be looking for a 28 year man, who is known to be an assistant for a foreign remittance agent (hoondi businessman). His boss known as Haji Islam was arrested from the town area earlier in the week.

Sources say the arrested man Haji Islam is nothing more than a businessman and military has mistaken him for a financial agent funding Muslim rebels in the area. Haji Islam has been under brutal torture in prison since last week, leading to fears he might die in custody.

Custodial death is common in Arakan where the security forces are known to brutally torture prisoners leading to hundreds of deaths and permanent injuries, especially since 2012.  

There are reports that many others were arrested but later freed after assault in custody. 

Ta Mi has been tense since the first week of May when security forces raped more than 30 women in a matter of few days as they launched another security crackdown after suspected rebels were mysteriously killed in the nearby jungles.

Earlier on Friday morning, three men had pointed out to Armed Police officials that some Rohingyas in the village had anti government propaganda on their telephones. The three men Hamid Hossain, Abu Tayab and Anwar were generally well respected and known to be educated people in the neighbourhood. Local Rohingyas expressed shock and dissatisfaction at the conduct of these three ‘educated’ men and questioned how instead of aiding oppressed Rohingyas, they had joined forces with the regime for their personal benefits.

All of the accused men have reportedly been arrested but later freed after the payment of heft fines.  

On the same day, a huge military force raided Dabbensara village after midnight hours, according to a local source. They entered the village, scattered in different directions, and forced the occupants of the houses to gather in one place.

There, all of them including the women were forced to lie on their belly while the military pressed them on their backs with their boots and shouted out abuses in the Burmese language, many of them directed against the Islamic religion.

The military left just after fajr time, making sure none of the Rohingyas could have their sehri, the pre dawn meal necessary for fasting during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.

Later the occupants going back to their houses found that many of the valuables including cash had been taken away by the military.