Myanmar police have filed a charge of religious disgrace against two Bangladeshi citizens on Wednesday after they were arrested for disguising as Buddhist monks, according to police sources.
Parsujait Barua and Antar Barua arrived at Yangon International Airport on Tuesday morning wearing the saffron robes reserved for Buddhist monks. Police arrested them the same afternoon on suspicion to cause violence after they checked in to a guesthouse in downtown Yangon.
The police say they are also questioning a local Muslim couple who picked them up from the airport and took them to the guesthouse.
“We traced the couple from the mobile phone of the two Bangladeshis. We arrested the couple at their home in 7/8 ward, Tharkayta Township at 9:30pm on July 9,” the police chief of Pabedan Township told Eleven Media.
The Bangladeshi citizens told the police that they flew to Yangon from Dakar via Thailand because they were promised jobs in Malaysia. They claimed they had been in monk-hood for about 15 days and had changed robes for casual wear to go out for lunch near the guest house where they were finally apprehended. They also claimed not to know the Muslim couple who police are also questioning.
The police said the Bangladeshis actions are a disgrace to Buddhism and an insult to the religious faith of Myanmar citizens.
The incident comes as the government tightens security around Myanmar’s main Buddhist sites, including the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in central Yangon, following a series of bomb blasts on Sunday at Bodh Gaya in northern India, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites.