Burma Times Correspondent: March 08, 2015
Rohingya Muslims in Buthidaung are living in fear of an imminent massacare as security forces and Rakhine mobs continue to intensify their presence around Fundupara, Nayapara and Hansapara.
Our correspondent in the area said that along with many others, he feared losing his children and loved ones as a Kiladong style crackdown might be in the offing. Many who spoke to us on the telephone broke into tears saying that they were holding their children near to them in what could be their final hours. Others said they were taking final preparations for the afterlife.
The current crisis started when locals at Funduparang ran away as the census approached their village. A 14 year girl was shot dead during census in Rajar Beel, Rathidaung and there was rumor of more killings about to take place during census. When the police said that they would not go house to house as is the general process and instead asked everyone to report at the local school, there was panic and the villagers fled to the surrounding hills.
This made matters worse as the police and BGP heavily increased their presence and launched a crackdown. On Friday during jumma prayers, they surrounded a mosque of the neighbouring village of Nayapara, in the suspicion that many of the Funduparang villagers had taken refuge there. There were fears that those arrested could be killed, and desperate Muslims protested the incident on the spot. At one point they managed to overwhelm the security forces and rescue the prisoners.
On the afternoon, locals of Funduparang, along with neighbouring villagers gathered at a field of Hansapara to ponder their next actions. Besides the imminent revenge of the security forces who were beaten back during the Friday prayers, many Funduparang residents also said that their children had not eaten for two days as they hid in the hills.
On Saturday, police and BGP intensified their presence in the area. They then launched a crackdown at Hansapara arresting a few Rohingya Muslims. Once again, Muslims managed to beat back the security forces and rescue the prisoners.
Since then, hundreds of police and BGP personnal have surrounded the area. Along with the security forces, some locals say they have seen civilians armed with sharp weapons.
At present, villagers of Funduparang, Nayapara and Hansapara have abandoned their houses and living in the wild. In memory of the 2014 Kiladong (Du Char Yar Taan) massacre, women and children have also been kept in hiding.
BGP and police are currently camped at the school field of Funduparang.