Myanmar Junta Rounds Up Family of Deposed NLD MP in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 1 March 2023

Myanmar’s junta detained more than 10 residents, including relatives of a former National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region, last week, and their whereabouts are still unknown, according to sources.

Junta troops detained the wife and elder daughter of Dr. Win Aung, a Lower House parliamentarian, from their houses last Friday. The arrest came a few days after Dr. Win Aung’s other daughter and her husband died in an accident while preparing gunpowder.

“It appears that news reached the regime. That’s why they have detained the lawmaker’s wife and daughter.”

The regime had already sealed off Dr. Win Aung’s house in Khin-U before the arrests and his family were only allowed in the house after signing a pledge to avoid political activities.

A domestic helper at their house was also detained along with the lawmaker’s wife and daughter, according to residents.

On the same day around 10 people, including a teashop owner and one of his employees, were detained in Khin-U. Most of the detainees are reportedly NLD supporters. Two civilians were injured when junta troops opened fire during an arrest, said residents.

It remains unclear why they were detained and where they were taken.

One resident said: “They might still be in Khin-U undergoing investigation. There are empty buildings in the town center and we heard they are being investigated in one.”

Dr. Win Aung was elected in both the 2015 and 2020 general elections. He fled the town after the 2021 coup for resistance territory, according to sources.

Following its imposition of martial law in Khin-U Township, the regime increased its presence in the town, making arbitrary arrests and conducting raids on villages.

“More junta troops have been deployed since February 9. It appears to be targeting NLD members and supporters. It is possible informants incited the regime to arrest them out of personal grudges,” said a resistance fighter from Khin-U People’s Defense Force.

On February 2, the regime imposed martial law on 37 townships in Sagaing, Magwe, Bago and Tanintharyi regions and Chin, Karen, Kayah and Mon states, putting the townships under direct military control.

At a regime cabinet meeting on February 9, junta boss Min Aung Hlaing said martial law would be imposed in important townships and action would be taken to curb violence.

Over 100 junta troops have been raiding villages in Khin-U since February 9 and more than 600 houses in seven villages were torched in junta arson attacks, according to groups documenting junta atrocities.

Three people, including two resistance fighters, have been killed and 13 others injured since the imposition of martial law. Two resistance fighters on a reconnaissance mission were killed and a nun was set on fire.

Since the coup, 3,062 people have died at the hands of the junta and 16,065 have been detained, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. From May 1, 2021, to January 31 this year, 55,484 houses were torched by the regime, and Sagaing Region was hit hardest with 43,292 houses lost, according to Data for Myanmar.