MAUNGDAW, Rakhine State — A funeral service was held on Thursday to cremate the remains of 45 Hindu villagers—including six children—of Ye Baw Kya village in northern Maungdaw Township unearthed on Sunday and Monday.
A mass grave of 28 missing Hindu villagers was found on Sunday, and 17 others were discovered on Monday afternoon.
More than 70 people, including Hindu spiritual leaders and relatives of the victims, attended the funeral, which was held according to Hindu rituals, Police Colonel Okkar Ko of the border guard police force told The Irrawaddy.
“All of the bodies were cremated and the funeral service was conducted by Hindu religious leaders. The funeral was held near the place where the bodies were discovered,” said the police colonel.
The retrieval of the remains of Hindu villagers came after a Hindu woman of Ye Baw Kya village who fled to Bangladesh following the attacks of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in August phoned and informed a Hindu community leader, who had fled to state capital Sittwe, about the killings.
The government’s statement—based on Hindu community leader U Ni Mal’s testimony—on Sunday said ARSA arrested some 100 men and women from several Hindu villages in Kha Maung Seik village tract on Aug. 25 and killed the majority of abductees.
On Wednesday, authorities showed local and international journalists the unearthed bodies.
The government’s Information Committee released a statement on Wednesday saying 163 people from Maungdaw District were killed and 91 people went missing from October 2016 to September 2017, following attacks by Muslim militants on border police posts.