Tatmadaw releases 150 villagers after 12 days of detention

Tun Khaing (Taung Rin Kyunt)
Narinjara News, 14 November 2020

Around  150 villagers, who were detained by a column of Burmese army personnel from Zaing Chaug village in Thaing Chaung village-tract under Kyaukphyu township were released this morning.

Thaing Chaung village administrator U Lin Htein, who was one of the 150 detainees, informed that they were released today. They were picked up by the security forces on 2 November and kept them at the village school for 12 days.

Soon after the Arakan Army members reportedly captured two soldiers, a convoy around 100 soldiers arrived in the village and detained the villagers for interrogations.

Thaing Chaug village has over 120 families with a population of around 400. After the arrest of 150 villagers, the rest fled from their residences.

U Lin Htein claimed that the children and elderly citizens found it very difficult to survive under the 12 day-detention. Moreover, the paddies in field were damaged and many pigs died of starvation in these days.

"The detainees complained about health problems at the school. It was not properly cleaned and some children had to visit doctors soon after their release,” added the village administrator.

He commented that innocent villagers should not be detained for such a long period.

"We were first arrested by the infantry. Four to five villagers were beaten by the soldiers during their interrogations. Later we were handed over to the navy personnel. They however did not beat us. This morning the soldiers left the village for Thitpotaung naval base,” revealed U Lin Htein.

He also disclosed that Daw Nu Khin May (50) was injured during the the soldiers firings on their arrival in the village and she was admitted to Kyaukphyu hospital.

There were rumours that Aung Myint's grocery store and Seik Nu Aung's house at  Zaing Chaung village were set on fire on 3 November, but that is not true, asserted the village administrator.

Tatmadaw True News,  which regularly publishes military news bulletins, is yet report over the incident. Responsible military officials were not available for comments.

State Hluttaw representative from Kyaukphyu township U Kyaw Lwin Post also confirmed that the Zaing Chaug villagers were released after the soldiers left the village.

(Photo by U Kyaw Lwin)