Sittwe: Nine Arakanese Buddhists were sentenced to one year in prison by Sittwe township court on Thursday for besieging a police station on 3 June 2012, said lawyer Daw Aye Nu Sein who advocated their case.
“9 people were sentenced to one year in prison while 10 other people were set free. It is the court verdict to 19 people who were presented yesterday before a judge in Sittwe township court,” the lawyer Aye said.
She said that they were sentenced to one year in prison by judge with the charge of public property protection act 68. The judge acquitted 10 people in the accident.
The authority has arrested 19 people since 3 June last year in connection with attacking police station No 1 in Sittwe with sticks, stones and bottles when a hundred thousand people gathered in front of the police station to demand the release of a social worker.
The incident took place at 10 PM on the day when a rumor was spreading among the people that police arrested a social worker while he negotiated with a Market auctioneer to reduce taxes collected from sellers including vendors and vegetable sellers in the market.
During the time, police officials explained to the crowds, who gathered in front of the police station, that the man detained by police was released just after arrest. Police officials also told crowds to return back home.
However, the crowds did not follow the police request. Later the crowds besieged the police station and attacked it with bottles, stones and sticks.
At that time, police were forced to disperse the mob by shooting a gun in air at first. Later the police shot their guns into the mobs.
After the police firing, 12 people including a monk were hospitalized at Sittwe general hospital with serious injuries . Some patients had to move to Yangon later as the hospital was not able to treat the patient’s injuries.
7 injured people are included among the 9 people who were sentenced to one year in prison, the lawyer said.