"Some of the Rakhine Buddhists started shouting ‘the Kalars are entering the city’ and attracted the mob."
The Rohingyas were visiting the Ywar Gyi Mrauk neighborhood of Sittwe, the Rakhine State capital, from the nearby Dar Paing displaced persons camp. The neighborhood has been restricted to Muslims since Buddhist mob violence forced thousands of Rohingyas from the city in 2012 and confined them to IDP camps, where most have been forced to live until today.
The Irrawaddy has reported that the seven victims were in Sittwe to witness a trial and were attacked when they went to Ywar Gyi Mrauk during a break in the trial, despite the presence of “seven or eight” police officers. However, according to AP, they had come to town to buy boats and were accompanied by two police officers.
Sittwe police officer Phyo Wai Kyaw told AP: “As one of the Kalars got off from the truck and was talking to another guy, some of the Rakhine Buddhists started shouting ‘the Kalars are entering the city’ and attracted the mob.”
“Kalar” is a widely used slur used against Rohingya.
The mob threw bricks at their victims and beat them with wooden sticks. One Rohingya man was killed on the spot, and the others were rushed to Sittwe General Hospital, which had to bar its gates to prevent the mob from entering.
One of the victims is still receiving treatment at the hospital.
While several reports say the Rohingyas were escorted by police, Police Major Win Naung told The Irrawaddy that local police were not aware of their presence.
One of the victims told AP: “The policemen tried to stop [the attackers], but there were too many of them, and it was impossible to stop them.”
impossible to stop them.”
Another Rohingya resident of Dar Paing camp told The Irrawaddy: “The government has the responsibility for this incident. It happened because the security was weak.”