58 detained in Thandwe: More people fear police arrest

( Photo by Shibani Mahtani)

( Photo by Shibani Mahtani)

(Thandwe, 9 October 2013) : Suspecting hands in the recent unrest in western Burma, the local police of Thandwe have detained at leas 58 persons for questioning. The latest series of violence between the Buddhists and Muslims had erupted in Thandwe township during September 28  to October  4, 2013.

U Kyaw Tint, chief of Thandwe district police station informed that the police have taken custody of 58 persons, out of which 45 are Buddhists and 13 are Muslims, apprehending their roles in the recent violence that broke out in Thandwe localities.

“They are being questioned over their involvement in the recent unrest,” revealed the district police.

Various community and civil society group leaders have however argue that the number of detainees should be higher  that of 58.

“As far my information goes, over 60 people have been arrested by the police from our township in relation with the recent violence and most of them are Buddhist Rakhine,” claimed a local community leader.

Many leaders representing various political and religious forums including Dr Aye Maung, president of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) and U Ko Ko Gyi, member of 88 Generation Group had visited the Thandwe locality to reduce the tension among the local residents after the violence.

Dr Aye Maung claimed that at least 13 Arakanese political and social leaders were included among the detainees but they were picked-up by the police without any solid evidence to prove that they were involved in the violence.

Among them the name of U Saw Haling alias U Maung Pu, who is the president of Thandwe township unit of RNDP, is also included.

“The police have detained our party leader U Saw Haling with false cases of arson, but we strongly believe that he is innocent. We are urging the government to release all the innocent detainees including U Saw Haling,” said Dr Aye Maung.

Police chief U Kyaw Tint informed the media that soon after the interrogation process is over, the police would release those detainees found innocent in this respect.

However, there is a wild rumor that the authority has planned to arrest more people in connection with the recent violence in Thandwe township and out of fear many local people have fled to hide in distant locations to avoid the police arrest.