Myanmar Junta Forces Detain Senior Citizen and Loot Village in Mandalay Region

By The Irrawaddy 23 April 2021

Military regime security forces arrested an old man and looted personal belongings from civilians in the village of Letpan in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region on Wednesday.

The junta forces were reportedly searching for low-level supporters of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), an administrative body formed by lawmakers elected in the 2020 general election.

“They came to search for the CRPH supporters by name. Informants in the village must have given their names,” said a Letpan resident.

Junta forces came initially for the owner of a shop in the north of Letpan village at around 3.30pm on Wednesday. After they could not find the man they were looking for, they stole a light truck and other things from the shop, said a villager.

“They came in three military trucks and there were over 30 of them. They took 10 barrels of gasoline, 30 sacks of rice, three motorbikes as well as snacks and some other things of value,” said a resident who asked for anonymity.

At least 20 shots were fired by the junta forces when they moved into the rest of the village, before they surrounded and searched the house of a former local administrator of the village.

“They fired shots as they came into the village. Villagers fled. They surrounded the house of a former 100-household administrator. They came straight to the houses of activists as informants had given them the list of activists in our village,” said a Letpan resident.

Security forces detained one man, who villagers did not want to name. “The detainee is almost 70 years,” said a villager. He remained in detention on Thursday.

A motorbike was taken from the house of the former administrator. Another motorbike and four PSI satellite dishes were also taken from his neighbor. Junta forces searched all the houses in the village that had PSI satellite dishes.

Satellite dishes have provided access to independent news for people across the country since the regime shut down broadband and mobile data access to the internet.

Many of the villagers have fled following the incident out of fear that junta forces will return. Residents of a nearby village, Kyauk Masik, have also fled from their homes.

The CRPH is setting up an interim administrative mechanism at different levels to rival the military regime that seized power in a Feb. 1 coup. On April 16, the CRPH announced the formation of a National Unity Government.

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