Police refuse to file a case reported by monk

Ponnagyun:

The police have refused to register a case despite the reports by the abbot of the Greikpha Monastery in Sittwe, the capital town in Arakan State, for taking action against the assailants who assaulted one of his disciple monks.

The abbot U Zargara is said to have reported to the Ponnagyun Police Station on 26th of April after his disciple U Zina was attacked by a villager and associates at the fishing port of Kanchaung Village in Ponnagyun Township.

“The abbot of our monastery had taken me to the Ponnagyun Police Station to open a case against the attackers because I was the person who was assaulted. The clerk of the township administration office, U San Hla Phaw, was then in the police station as well. The police refused to register the case and dismissed us telling us they would investigate and act upon the case, but they have not taken any action for my case yet”, said U Zina.

U Zina said a drunken villager started the violent attacks on him and his pupil, while they were at the fishing port to hire a boat as the engine of their boat coming from Sittwe had broken down when coming close to Kanchaung Village in Ponnagyun.

“The incident happened around 9 pm on 24th of April when we were helping to send a dead body of a youth from Nyaungpunhla Village in Mrauk-U Township to his home. The youth died of tuberculosis while taking medications in Sittwe hospital. We brought the youth’s body in a boat and when we came close to the Kanchaung Village in Ponnagyun, the boat’s engine broke down. That’s why I and one of my pupils had gone to the fishing port of the village to hire another boat. We were about to leave in the hired boat when a drunken villager accompanied by others suddenly and violently attacked us. I pleaded with him not to attack us, but he did not listen and finally I had to jump off from the boat and flee from the spot. I had to take shelter in nearby Sapahtar Village that night so I could return to my monastery in Sittwe with the help of the village administrator”, said the monk.

The monk said the attackers had beaten his pupil remaining in the boat severely as well.

“I do not know yet why those peoples attacked us. That’s why we reported our case to the police in order to solve our problem. The village administrator of Kanchaung Village also knows the incident well. We have learned later that the attackers had given money to the police and the administrator not to register the case against them”, he said.

Narinjara contacted the police station in Ponnagyun for comment on the incident, but could not reach the station due to the poor phone connection.

When Narinjara contacted the Greikpha Monastery in Sittwe, a lay devotee of the monastery answered the phone and said that the abbot was not in the monastery because He had gone to invigilate the examination of the monks. He however said, “The monks in the monastery are still dissatisfied with the assault on their fellow monk and nearly 60 of them are planning to go to the Kanchaung Village. As we do not want to make the problem bigger, we and the abbot have promised to solve the problem as soon possible as we can.”

He added that they would carry on attempting to bring out the truth behind the gratuitous attack on a Buddhist monk and to take legal action against the assailants.