As the government steps up efforts at issuing the National Verification Card, the first step in the process towards citizenship, villagers in conflict areas in northern Rakhine said they have been threatened by terrorists who do not want them to apply for the card.
“In the NVC issuing programme, 18 townselders have been killed, and three are still missing,”
Townselders who advise and represent villagers have reportedly been harassed, kidnapped and killed, villagers said. Yesterday, Rakhine State authorities said those who make threats against the National Verification Card issuing programme will be brought to court. A statement released by the Rakhine State Government yesterday said some organisations have threatened villagers not to apply for the NVC card, and ARSA terrorists have made death threats to villagers who participate in the NVC card issuing process.
Action will be taken against him in accordance with the law, said the statement.
The mobile teams of the Rakhine State Immigration and Population Department have made numerous field trips to villages in Maungtaw, explaining to villagers the merits of having an NV card.
Meanwhile, authorities announced they will take action against anyone who threatens villagers under the Counter-Terrorism Law.
The work of verifying identification and issuing NV Cards is a priority for the government because it was one of the main suggestions made by an independent committee to spur on the development of Rakhine State.
This work was already being conducted in recent months but was delayed due to the ARSA extremist terrorists attack of 25 August. The work was restarted in Maungtaw Township, Shwezar village tract on 12 October.—Myanmar News Agency