Akyab, Arakan:Â The Burmese Army has taken full control of most towns in Arakan State from June 6 and security has been beefed up. An alert has also been sounded, said a local in Akyab.
Akyab, Myohaung (Mauk-U), Minbya, Kyauk Phyu, Ramree and Thandwe are under a security blanket and is being monitored by troops under the Western Command Headquarter, he added.
In all these towns, check posts have been set on the streets. Troops are watching the people with suspicion and some times questioning the people about who they are and where they are going or coming from, said a teacher in Myohaung.
“It is difficult for people to go out of their homes at night between 21:00 hours and 5:00 hours and it looks like curfew has been imposed. The army is questioning people who pass the check post or walk on the road or are arrested,” said a student in Ramree.
The army took control of the towns after some posters were put up on June 4 which demanded that Arakan gas and Arakanese forests be protected. The posters were put up in public areas in towns in Arakan where people could easily see them, a local in Min Gann Quarter said.
On June 6, 2007, at about 17:00 hours, a section of police force from No. 1 Myoma Police station, lead by Sub- Inspector Njeinn Gjann arrested three youths from Akyab and charged them with putting up posters, according to the police sources.
The arrested persons are an assistant accountant of Kambowza Company, Thein Kyaw Aung (28) son of U San Sein, a second year student of Akyab Collage, Khine Maung Myint (26) son of U Htun Yinn and Win Maung (28) son of U Ba Hann. Thein Kyaw Aung and Khine Maung Myint hail from Min Gann Quarter and Win Maung is from Bawlongwan Quarter in Akyab, Arakan State.
Police suspect that the three Rakhine youths are connected to the poster distribution, as they have earlier organized the people and youths in Akyab to do things against the military junta, according to a source close to the police.