Modi govt should champion Hindu cause; help Myanmar fight Rohingya terrorists

The government of India should champion the cause of peace-loving Hindus in Myanmar, who have been victims of persecution by Islamic terrorists. Although there were earlier reports of attacks on Hindus by Islamists, they were not confirmed.

According to a report of the Amnesty International, Rohingya Muslims massacred Hindu villagers during last year’s uprising in Myanmar’s Rakhine.

Inspired by Islamic State ideals, Islamists have been targeting Hindus and Buddhists in Myanmar. The report says the killings took place on August 25, 2017, the same day that the Rohingya insurgents staged coordinated deadly raids on police posts that tipped the state into crisis. Reprisals from the Myanmar army led to fleeing of thousands of Rohingyas to Bangladesh and India.

The Islamic outfit Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) is behind the massacre. Amnesty International said an investigation had confirmed the group killed 53 Hindus “execution-style” — mostly children — in the Kha Maung Seik village cluster in northern Maungdaw.

“Our latest investigation on the ground sheds much-needed light on the largely under-reported human rights abuses by ARSA during northern Rakhine state’s unspeakably dark recent history,” said Tirana Hassan, crisis response director at Amnesty International.

“Accountability for these atrocities is every bit as crucial as it is for the crimes against humanity carried out by Myanmar’s security forces in northern Rakhine state,” she added.

Citing interviews with eight survivors, the rights group said dozens were rounded up, blindfolded and marched out of town by masked men and Rohingya villagers in plain clothes.

“They slaughtered the men. We were told not to look at them… They had knives. They also had some spades and iron rods,” 18-year-old Raj Kumari told Amnesty.  He said he hid in the bush and watched as his father, brother and uncle were killed.

Another survivor said: “The men held knives and long iron rods. They tied our hands behind our backs and blindfolded us. One of them said: ‘You and Rakhine (Buddhists) are the same, you have a different religion. You can’t live here.”

The report said that in a separate village nearby called Ye Bauk Kyar, 46 Hindu men, women and children disappeared on the same day. It cited information from local Hindus who believe they were killed by ARSA.