Po­lice de­tains five in Taungdwingyi riot

The Myanmar Times - - News - NAY AUNG nayaung@mm­times.com

PO­LICE have de­tained five peo­ple in the af­ter­math of a riot on Taungdwingyi-Magwe Road in Magwe Re­gion, the State Coun­sel­lor Of­fice’s In­for­ma­tion Com­mit­tee said Mon­day.

The of­fice said among the first to be ar­rested was Hnin Ko Ko Lin, also known as Hnin Ko Ko, who was picked up by po­lice of­fi­cers shortly af­ter the riot late Sun­day.

Four other peo­ple, iden­ti­fied as Soe Thu, Thein Zan Htay, Naing Aung Htet and Sithu Aung all from Taungdwingyi were also taken into po­lice cus­tody early Mon­day for ques­tion­ing in con­nec­tion with Sun­day’s un­rest, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

The State Coun­sel­lor’s of­fice said the trou­ble started late Sun­day when about 50 young peo­ple wear­ing masks threw stones to a house lo­cated on Taungdwingyi-Magwe Road at Ohn Taw ward 1.

Af­ter ston­ing the house, the at­tack­ers went to a mosque in Shwe Kyar Inn ward 1 shout­ing the na­tional an­them and also be­gan throwing stones at a mosque at Shwe Kyar Pin ward 2 at around 8pm and a store by the road.

Some 70 peo­ple hold­ing cat­a­pults and stones and about 400 peo­ple who came to watch the sit­u­a­tion gath­ered near the mosque about an hour later but se­cu­rity forces warned them to dis­perse us­ing loud speak­ers.

When the crowd did not budge af­ter sev­eral warn­ings, the po­lice pushed the crowd us­ing riot shields, even­tu­ally suc­ceed­ing to dis­perse the mob sev­eral min­utes later.

The in­for­ma­tion com­mit­tee said the po­lice is con­duct­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent.

But re­gional Hlut­taw MP U Win Myint Hlaing told The Myan­mar Times that some of the in­for­ma­tion re­leased by the State Coun­sel­lor’s of­fice were not ac­cu­rate.

“It is not true that po­lice dis­persed the mob by us­ing riot shields. There be­came a crowd of about 100 be­cause peo­ple gath­ered lit­tle by lit­tle to watch the sit­u­a­tion, but those who at­tempted to in­cite a riot were about 30. But the state­ment said it was a crowd of 400. And it is not true that the po­lice used rub­ber bul­lets,” said U Win Myint Hlaing.

The re­gional chief min­is­ter Dr Aung Moe Nyo said on his Face­book page also that “it is not true that the po­lice used rub­ber bul­lets to dis­perse the crowd.”

“The crowd dis­persed shortly af­ter about 10 po­lice mem­bers run there shout­ing “catch them, catch them”. It was not easy to con­trol if all 400 peo­ple at­tempted to use of vi­o­lence. I have no idea why the in­for­ma­tion team’s state­ment were dif­fer­ent from the real sit­u­a­tion,” said U Win Myint Hlaing.

“We’ve told NLD ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers for ward or vil­lage level to ask peo­ple not to come to Taungdwingyi. But some came to the town,” said U Win Myint Hlaing.

Riots broke out in 8 places in Taungdwingyi and some pub­lic prop­er­ties were de­stroyed, he said, adding that one mo­bile phone shop was also de­stroyed.

“They de­stroyed a goat farm and drove off goats. They broke chairs at a tea shop. It was not only riot but also rob­beries,” said U Win Myint Hlaing.

The govern­ment in­for­ma­tion com­mit­tee an­nounced that the govern­ment will find out those who in­cited the riots.

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