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Maungdaw β€” Under the pretext of headcount, large sums of money are being collected by the authorities forcefully from the local Rohingyas in the villages of Maungdaw, Rakhine State, who are already facing an economic crisis due to the pandemic, according to Rohingya Today.

There are 24 families in Kyar Gaung Taung Village (Rabailla Fara) and 17 families in Yae Twin Kyun Village (Rammyabil Fara) taking shelter in the neighboring villages without fleeing to Bangladesh after their houses and villages were burn to ashes during the 2017 military cleansing operation.

On January 13, 2021, Ngakuya-based BGP (Border Guard Police) Sector 5 and Township Administration jointly conducted head counting process in the aforementioned villages violating the Covid-19 SOP.

Though it is a government project, during the process the authorities are collecting 3,000 kyats per family, 30,000 kyats per newborn registration and 50,000 kyats if the baby is older than 12 months, saying it is for their food costs, the source mentioned quoting the victims.

In U Shey Kya Village (Bura Shikdar Fara), the administrator U Siraj is collecting in advance 50,000 kyats per newborn though the headcount process is scheduled to begin on 6th February.

Similarly, in Thihol Thayet (Khair Fara) Village, the Kyee Kan Pyin-based BGP and the Township Administration started the headcount process and are imposing 3,000 kyats per family and 20,000 kyats per newborn registration illegally saying that they are given food costs by the government.

At the time people are struggling to survive in the pandemic, the authorities are targeting those survivors by imposing large sums of money under false pretext.