Village admin officers from Rohingya villages are extorting money from villagers when Burma Border Guard Police (BGP) accompanied by local immigration officers have been collecting population data collection (Hswe Tin Si in Burmese) resumed again in Rohingya populated areas since December 2014, said Hamid, a village admin officer from Maungdaw township.
The BGP director general Tin Ko Ko had stated in a public meet in Maungdaw south on November 2014 that his department will not collect any money – adding children and bride, erasing persons (dead, going abroad), family photographing in their family list, marriage permission and food serving while the officers are on duty) from Rohingya families who join the population data collection program, Hamid more added.
But, most of the villager admin and BGP officers were extorting money from Rohingyas villagers in the name of population data collection program and also harassing and treating villagers to join the program and to accept the name Bengali in the place of Rohingya in the Form of Race column, Hamid more added.
However, the population data collection program was started since February 20 and the local village Administration officer U Chit Maung (45), son of Azan Pru (Chakma) extorts Kyat 70.000 to give marriage permission to Rohingya community. At present, the village Administration officer has the power to issue marriage permission to Rohingya, Jafor, a businessman from the locality said.
The village Admin U Chit Maung accompanied by other admin members—Md.Taher (40), son of Kala Meah, deputy Admin; Anwar (32), son of Noor Mohamed; and Nobi Hussain (40), son of Kala Meah extorted the money from villagers, Jafor more added.
Besides, immigration officers in the same village extorted Kyat 2,000 for group photo, Kyat 3,000 to register new born, Kyat 3,000 to terminate dead person and Kyat 50,000 for reckoning new bridegroom, said Ashaff, one of father-in-laws said from the village.
On the other hand, the population data collecting program was started since February 18 in Lone Don village of Maungdaw north, where the BGP Deputy Director General was going from one village to another village and asked villagers to accept the data collection program. It is the order of central government if not, authority will take action, Anwer, a businessman said from the locality.
“The concerned authorities will write “Bengali” in place of “Rohingya” in the race,” the deputy said the villagers. “No money will collect while the data collection (Hswe Tin Si) is processing.”
But, immigration officers extorted Kyat 1,000 for group photo, Kyat 2,000 to register new born, Kyat 2,000 to terminate dead person and Kyat 40,000 to count on new bridegroom, Kolim said from the locality.
Besides, the local village Administration officer, Myra Ra Kyaw (Mro community) extorts Kyat 40,000 to give marriage permission to Rohingya people, Ullah Meah, a father of a bridegroom said.
An ex-schoolteacher, Searaz said, “Census or population data collection is a kind of money extortion, so people reluctant to participate it.”
Similarly, the block two admin officer Yousuf extorting huge amount of money from rich villagers, in the name of serving food to duty officers and also collecting money from all villagers for adding new born babies/ bride, erasing person when he recommend to add or to erase person from family list, said Maung Hla shwe, a local from the block.