Not Just Muslims, Rohingya Hindus Too Facing Violence

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Dhaka: A military campaign to wipe out Rohingya insurgents has rained violence down on Myanmar’s Rakhine state, sending around 390,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing for sanctuary in Bangladesh.

But not just Muslims, Rakhine Hindus have also been displaced due to violence in Myanmar’s western state.

According to news agency PTI, 86 Hindus were killed in the ethnic violence in the Buddhist-majority country. Shaken by the trauma, the community members have joined streams of Muslim Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

The weary and wounded Rohingya Hindus arriving in Bangladesh have been telling unverifiable accounts of village massacres. Armed with guns and machetes, men reportedly go on beheading and looting spree in villages. Whether a Hindu is being killed or a Muslim, the faces covered in masks are just baying for blood. Hindu women are raped and killed, villages are being burnt in the Rakhine state.

Narrating a story of one such Hindu refugee in Bangladesh, The Times of India says that Akhira Dhar, in the past week, has seen her husband and in-laws being hacked to death. “Hadi felay (They kill everyone),” she mumbles. At four months pregnant, Akhira somehow managed to reach Merinja opposite Naikhong Chari in Chittagong.

Another refugee in Hindupara, Rikha Dhar, narrated her ordeal, recalling how masked men tortured her husband who owned a gold shop in Myanmar’s Fakir Bazar. “My husband told them about the jewellery when they threatened to kill our children. They then took him blindfolded towards the hills. When we were fleeing, we found his blood-soaked body along with hundreds of others,” she said.

The UN has accused Myanmar of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya, a stateless group that the Buddhist-majority country refuses to recognise as citizens.

The government refutes the accusations, instead of saying the Army has carried out targeted operations to snuff out the militant group, whose attacks on police posts in late August unleashed the massive military response.