Burma Border Guard Police (BGP) are collecting money from Rohingya travelers within Maungdaw Township since July 29, who crossed bridges, BGP camps and BGP headquarters, said Halim, a human rights watchdog from Maungdaw.
Rohingya community needs crossing many bridges and BGP camps in order to travel from home to another place like Maungdaw market or other villages. Although they have their travel documents – such as White cards (TRC), light green cards (NVC), National Registration cards (NRC) and Village admin travel recommendation letters –, they have to pay 500 kyats at every check point, Halim said.
The BGP personnel barred Rohingya to continue their trips, if they refused to pay money, even at the BGP headquarters, said U Petan Ali from Maungdaw north.
The BGP headquarters is only 9.7 kilometers away from Maungdaw Town and it is situated by the Maungdaw-Bawli Bazar highway road. So, the villagers who want to travel Maungdaw town or other areas from Maungdaw north, have to cross the BGP headquarters, he added.
Every day villagers have to cross the BGP headquarters, bridges and BGP camps to go to their working sites, markets, to visit their relatives and to see doctors for treatment. On every trip, they need to carry their travel documents and pay Kyat 500 to the gate is a very heavy duty for the villagers. The villagers who have not able to pay Kyat 500, he /she is not able to see even his/her dead relatives, said Nur Mohamed, a former school teacher from Maungdaw.
Rohingyas from Maungdaw district have to pay the so called tolls at every bridges, BGP camps and BGP head headquarters gates every day. There are many bridges along the highway road in Maungdaw township and each bridge gate collects 500 kyats. Thus, the BGPs get a lot of money per day from Rohingya community and it’s a heavy burden for the Rohingya community to pay the so called tolls money. The Maungdaw people haven’t get any benefit under Burma Law and Order System, Nur Mohamed added.