Narinjara News

6 June 2005
4 army personnel arrested for a gang rape of teenage girl in Arakan

4 army personnel were arrested yesterday after raping a Burmese Muslim girl in Taung Bro Left village under
Maung Daw Township, near the border town of Okia in Bangladesh, said a police official from Maung Daw.
 A powerful army team led by Colonel Win Shwe, commander of the Military Planning Bureau (3) based in Buthi Daung, arrested the men from their camp station in the same village.
They are currently being interrogated by senior army officials in the Nasaka Headquarters of Maungdaw, a western Burmese border town, about their involvement in the rape.
 According to an official source, two soldiers confessed that they had raped the girl in the village on 2 June with the assistance of another two soldiers who held her at gunpoint.
 According to village sources, the four soldiers from Light Infantry battalion 536, stationed at the same village, forcibly took her away and raped her at an isolated place just outside the village.

The teenage girl, age 14, was left unconscious by the soldiers. Her father and the villagers rescued her from where she was left.
 A villager said, after news of the incident began spreading among the Muslim community along both sides of the border, a group of senior army officials suddenly came to the village to arrest the rapists.
 “We do not believe that the army authority will punish them severely for this rape because in previous incidents the authority would only transfer the rapist soldiers to another part of
Burma, especially the front line battalion.  This is the system of punishment for rapists in the army” said a Muslim teacher from Maung daw

It was learnt that in Arakan state there have been a number of rapes committed by soldiers in the Burmese army, but the army authority transferred the perpetrators to other areas of the country when complaints were made.    


However, as this incident is now spreading publicly among the people and high ranking officials, the authority will have to punish the rapists in accordance with Burmese criminal law, said another person from Maungdaw.# 



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