Burma Times Correspondent: October 24, 2015
BGP forces recently stationed around the Aung Minglar quarter in Akyab town began their tenure by seizing the daily income of Rohingya rickshaw pullers in the town.
On Wednesday BGP forces suddenly appeared around the check posts at the Muslim quarter. Their sudden arrival raised tensions among the Muslims as there are fears of large scale communal violence ahead of the November elections.
The BGP has a reputation for ethnic cleansing acts carried out against the Muslim populace. They are feared more than the army whom they replaced, because the force has a large number of Rakhines, generally known for their hostility towards the Muslim community.
Analysts have warned that Buddhist nationalist groups backed by the government might create large scale communal violence to sway votes away from the opposition NLD. The NLD is considered less hostile to the Muslims than the current military backed regime and a violence might create an impression in the country that a foreign Muslim community is taking over parts of the country.
Meanwhile Rohingyas dependent on a daily income in Akyab town have decried the presence of the BGP saying even in normal circumstances, they face severe food shortages as they are generally not allowed to go out to earn a livelihood. With the arrival of the BGP that is confiscating daily income made by the Rohingyas, they fear an already bad situation is taking a turn for the worse.
Following the riots of 2012, Aung Minglar is currently the last Muslim quarter left standing in the state capital. The quarter is guarded from all sides and Muslims face severe restrictions in going out and coming into this part of the town. Once Akyab was a mixed city where the Rakhines only had a slim majority over the Rohingyas. That changed since the riots and there are no Muslims living outside Aung Minglar.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, government officials met near the former Muslim neighbourhood of Haddi Hola. There are fears that the officials are looking for means to perpetuate violence against the city’s remaining Rohingya population, say sources.
Haddi Hola was completely razed to the ground during the riots.