Grocer Shot Dead in Indo-Burmese Border Town of Tamu

By Zarni Mann 7 January 2016

MANDALAY — A man was gunned down in broad daylight on Wednesday in Sagaing Division’s Tamu, a township on the border with India, with the shooter still at large.

According to police, the slain man was 45-year-old Maung Maung, also known as A Ra Hin, who owned a grocery store in Tamu’s busy town center, where the shooting took place.

“Some witnesses said the unknown gunman fled to the Indo-Burma border, but we do not have concrete information on it yet,” said a police official from the Tamu District police office, who asked not to be named.

Local authorities and police told The Irrawaddy that the motivation for the shooting remains unknown and the incident is under investigation, with authorities undertaking a manhunt for the gunman.

Tamu’s location along the Indo-Burmese border has earned it a reputation as a hideout for armed rebels from northeast India, where low-level insurgencies have simmered for decades. Shootings and bomb blasts linked to the unrest in neighboring Manipur state, as well as illicit narcotics trafficking and problems related to drug abuse, have been reported in Tamu Township over the years.

However, local residents said this week’s incident marks a break from a relatively stable 2015 in the town.

“It had been peaceful during the whole of 2015, and we thought we finally could live in peace,” said Thein Win, an elder of Tamu.

“But now, we are living in fear and worrying about further unrest. We want protection from the authorities because we want to live in peace,” he added.