Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nasaka loots cattle, goats from villagers in Maungdaw

Maungdaw, Arakan State (KPN): Nasaka, Burma’s border security force snatched four heads of cattle and 130 goats from a village under the Maungdaw Township alleging that the villagers had not enlisted their new born calves and kids in the animal list.

On May 6, at about 11 pm, two groups of Nasaka personnel from Basara (Tha Win Chaung) outpost camp under the Inn Din village tract of Maungdaw Township went to Kwason village and forcibly took away 130 goats and four heads of cattle to their camp from the village. They alleged that the villagers had not enrolled their calves and kids.

In this village, to enlist new born calves and kids to the Nasaka’s cattle list, villagers have to pay 10,000 kyat per calf and 500 kyat per kid. So, some of the villagers are reluctant to enroll in the Nasaka camp by paying so much money. They also have to go through many kinds of harassment by the Nasaka when they go to the camp for enlistment.

The next day morning, the cattle owners went to the Nasaka camp to get back their animals. But, Nasaka did not return the cattle and goats to the owners.

Besides, on May 7, the Nasaka of the Basara camp ordered the villagers not to go out of the village because Nasaka would go to the village to check the cattle list. They also said if the villagers want to avoid the check, they could pay Kyat 300,000 to the Nasaka.

Learning this, the village elders collected 1,000 to 5,000 per family owning cattle and goats in keeping with their status. They paid the collected money to the Nasaka officer.

According to one villager, Moqul Ahmed (50), son of Asad Jaman and Md. Hussain ( 55) paid Kyat 5,000 per each while Gulbaher(35), a widow, and Hussain Ahmed (40), son of Basa Meah paid Kyat 1,000 each. They are all from Bassara village of Maungdaw Township.

“There is no country in the world except Burma where villagers have to pay money for their new born calves and kids,” a village elder said.

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