Schoolteacher Shot Dead in Hpakant

By Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint 18 January 2017

RANGOON — A schoolteacher was abducted and gunned down Wednesday morning in Kachin State’s Hpakant, the Hpakant Township Police Station has confirmed.

U Aung Zin Tun, a schoolteacher in the village of Nantmaphyit, was abducted from his house in the village at around 8:45 a.m. and his body was recovered at around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, said a police officer in Hpakant Township.

Unconfirmed sources said the teacher was abducted by three unidentified men, but The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the information.

“We found the body near a heap of earth waste [from a jade mine] by the roadside of Jayar Yang road, which runs from Nantmaphyit to Malam. We have opened a murder case,” said the police officer.

Police are still investigating the case, and have yet to find out how long ago the slain teacher was assigned to Hpakant Township.

“That schoolteacher beat students who went to the Kachin State Day celebration [on Jan. 10]. Then, parents complained and he had to apologize to them. That’s how I knew him. I was amazed to hear that he was dead this morning,” said U Brang Shawng, a Hpakant local.

The police officer from Hpakant Township Police Station said that ten students were absent from U Aung Zin Tun’s class on Jan. 10 without requesting leave. The next day, he hit each student twice with a wooden sheet.

“He did not know they went to the Kachin State Day celebration. Then, the Kachin Tradition and Literature Committee summoned him, [because of the beatings] and he had offered apologies. So, as far as we are concerned, it had been settled,” said the police officer.

The police station is working to identify the murderers and the concerned ward administrators are assisting the police in their investigation.

There are over 100,000 internal migrants from across Burma working at jade mines in Hpakant, where drugs are also easily available.

In 2016, an unidentified gunman gunned down a ward administrator in her residence in Hpakant.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko