Sittwe: Four of 17 Arakanese Buddhists, who were arrested by police on suspicion of connection with sectarian violence that took place in October last year in Arakan state, were freed by authorities, said a senior lawyer in Sittwe.
“ Yes, four people from Mrauk U Township were set free from Sittwe prison on 29 March as they were not guilty in last year’s violence. The other 13 people in the township remain in the prison of Sittwe to face the trail,” the lawyer said.
The four people released are: U Hla Saw Aung and U Tun Kyaw from Kyat Zay ward in Mrauk U and Maung Tin Win and U San Thein Kyaw from Purin Gon village in Mrauk U Township.
They were brought to Sittwe prison along with other 13 people from Mrauk U, the ancient city of Arakan, soon after they were arrested by the security forces in connection with violence in Mrauk U township in October 2012.
“ The judge from Sittwe district court passed a verdict that they were not guilty after hearing their cases several days. We are happy for them,” said the lawyer.
Three people except U San Thein Kyaw, who is now hospitalized in Sittwe due to deterioration of his health, returned back to Mrauk U on the day.
Many townspeople include their colleagues received them from the jetty of Mrauk U as heroes.
They were arrested by the security forces in connection with an attack on Putin gon Muslim village where 5 Arakanese including Ko Moe Kyaw from Balu village were killed in a fire fight by the army and about 10 people were wounded.