Police detains five in Taungdwingyi riot
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.