Monday, May 11, 2009

Seven year old girl raped in Maungdaw

by Nyein Chan

Dhaka (Mizzima) – A seven-year old girl belonging to Kyaukle village in Maungdaw Township in Burma's western Arakan state was raped on May 7, local residents said.

Local residents said that the minor girl from Kyaukle village, about six miles from north of Maungdaw, was raped at about 7 p.m. on the way back to her house after buying medicines for her ailing father.

"She went to a nearby drug store to buy medicines for her father. When she reached the dark corner of a school, she was gagged and dragged to the nearby forest by a soldier and raped," a local resident from Shwesar block of Maungdaw told Mizzima.

A relative of the victim, talking to Mizzima, said a search was conducted after the girl failed to return home on time. She was found in the nearby forest, about 300 yards from a school, at about 2 a.m. (local time).

"When she didn't come back home on time, the girl's family informed their relatives and then began searching. We started to search for her at about 10 p.m. She was found unconscious in the nearby forest," the local said.

The girl has been admitted to a hospital and is under treatment.

"She was admitted to the hospital only on Friday [a day after the incident] and was unconscious for about a day. Now she has regained consciousness and is out of danger," a staff from Maungdaw hospital said.

The girl, after gaining consciousness, said the perpetrator might have been a soldier from the nearby garrison engineer’s unit stationed at the school, a relative told Mizzima.

Maj. Kyi Aung from Maungdaw Township, Aungbala village based No. 6 Border Inspection and Command (Na Sa Ka) visited the scene of the crime and investigated. But the culprit has not yet been identified, a source close to border security forces also known as the Na Sa Ka said.

"He [the major] visited the school in Kyaukle village where the soldiers were stationed on May 10. But he has not been able to identify the culprit yet", he said.

The garrison engineer’s unit is from Sittwe based Garrison Engineer Battalion and they have been sent to erect border fencing.

Na Sa Ka’s regional commander told the girl's parents not to report the incident to senior officials and promised to pay some money for medical expenses and as compensation, the source close to Na Sa Ka said.

Bangladesh-based, Burmese news agency 'Narinjira' reported a similar case which said an army officer raped a girl from Thri Konbaung village in Maungdaw Township last month.

Reported: 11 May 2009

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