11 injured as police crackdown on protestors in Sittwe

Sittwe: At least eleven people were injured as the police cracked down on a mass protest in front of the Police Station No. (1) in Arakan State’s Capital Sittwe on Sunday.

About 300 people gathered and demonstrated at the police station around 11 pm on Sunday when the police violently cracked down on them, reported a local youth from Sittwe who participated in the incident.

“The problem started because a businessman, who is the bidder of the Narzi Market in Sittwe, has hired the Armann Karate Group to collect more toll taxes from the shopkeepers in the market. The shopkeepers clashed with the karate group as they were dissatisfied with the increasing tolls in the market. A young man who helped the shopkeepers was arrested after the clash. So, the people staged protest at the police station demanding the police to clarify why and who arrested him. Many protestors have sustained injuries as the police cracked down on them with gunfire”, said the youth.

He said not less than eleven protestors were injured and some of them sustained serious injuries.

“Some protestors sustained serious injuries on their legs that need even to be cut. They are now being treated in the public hospital in Sittwe”, he said.

He added that the police from the station first threw tear-bombs into the crowd of protestors, and then opened several rounds of gunfire to drive away them from their station.

Narinjara contacted the police station but it declined to give any comments on the incident.

A female resident who lives nearby the station however confirmed the incident.

“Yes, the incident happened at the police station Sunday evening, but I do not know the details about it. I have found the situation is quiet at the station today”, said the resident.