( Maungdaw, 1 November 2013): Altogether 68 Muslim people were sentenced to imprisonment by Buthidaung township court Wednesday after founding them guilty of an attack on Rakhine villages in Maundaw township of Arakan State on 8 June 2012, said a police officer.
“We have detained and charged 73 people from Maungdaw for an attack on Rakhine villages on 8 June last year. Among them, five accused were set free as there was no concrete evidence against them. However the rest have been sentenced under section 436 of the Burma constitution,” added the police officer.
The court sentenced 67 male accused for five years behind bar and a female was given one year imprisonment.
Nearly 40 houses belong to the Buddhist Arakanese in Bomu ward of Maungdaw were set on fire on 8 June last year, when a group of Muslim people targeted the Rakhine villages.
The incident took place soon after a prayer meet by the Muslim people in the memory of 10 Muslim visitors who were murdered in Taungup, a southern town of Arakan. The Maungdaw authority gave permission for the prayer meet as the Muslim leaders assured that it would be a peaceful exercise, but in reality it turned violent.
The violence engulfed many Rakhine villages of Maungdaw township like Kayi Myint, Shwe Yin Aye, Vasali, Thari Kabong, Kai Gyi, Mawyawady and Kan Thaya, where the Muslim residents started vandalism without any provocation.
It may be mentioned that the majority residents of Maungdaw are Muslims where the Arakanese Buddhists are minority.
According to official sources, the violence lasted for 2 days (8 and 9 June 2012), where 552 houses belonged to Rakhine villagers, another 37 buildings, eight monasteries, one school and one clinic were destroyed. Even 7 Rakhine villagers were killed and 50 other were injured during the attack.