Villagers Flee Their Homes as Myanmar Military Regime Vows Action

By The Irrawaddy 19 March 2021

Thousands of people from five villages in Sagaing Region’s Depayin Township have fled their homes after the military regime vowed retribution against those involved in a conflict that killed two police members and injured a police captain on Thursday.

State-owned newspapers controlled by the military regime said Friday that three police members, including a police captain from a sub-police station, were stopped and attacked by about one hundred people near a Boke Htan Taw village while they were travelling to Depayin Town.

According to Sagaing Region-based media and sources, the confrontation occurred when the three police officers traveling in a vehicle encountered villagers from several villages returning from an anti-regime demonstration at Depayin Town on Thursday afternoon.

Two members of the police died at the scene and the police captain received serious injures that required treatment at a military hospital, the state-owned newspapers said.

It also said that three firearms belonging to the police were taken by the mob.

On Thursday evening, police and soldiers raided Tei Taw village which is near the scene of the conflict and arrested six villagers after destroying two houses.

Early Friday, about 200 of police and soldiers with 12 vehicles were deployed to a monastery in Thapyay Gone village. Security forces searched houses of Tei Taw village which had been left deserted by its residents.

In addition, thousands of people from other four villages — Oakkse Ywar, Chaungmeto, Thapyaygone, and Tha Yet Kan, which are also near the conflict area — have left their homes because they are also afraid of arrest, according to local sources.

Villagers from Tei Taw Village Tract join the anti-regime demonstration in Sagaing Region’s Depayin Town.

“I think we will have to stay here two or three more days because we don’t dare to go back home,” a resident of Tei Taw village, who is hiding in the forest with her family, told The Irrawaddy on Friday.

The resident said that security forces confiscated food-stuffs from a shop in the village and stole ducks from a duck farm during their raids.

On Wednesday, Myanmar military forces claiming that four personnel were missing raided villages in Kayah State near the border with Shan State and used teargas, rubber bullets and live rounds in cracking down on villagers who objected to their deployment, according to a statement by Kayah State’s anti-regime general strike committee.

Despite the fact that no missing military personnel were found in the villages, military forces occupied a church, school and village homes for their deployment. Many villagers fled.

On Thursday, military forces arrested 30 villagers and Ko Khun Myo Hlaing Win, a member of Kayah State’s anti-regime general strike committee who had consulted with the military about the release of village detainees.

The committee has also asked for the immediate release of all those detained. One of the committee members told The Irrawaddy on Friday that haven’t received any exact information about the conditions or whereabouts of those detainees.

Myanmar security forces also raided villages in Sagaing Region’s Kawlin Township to search for weapons which they claim were stolen from a Kantha police outpost near Kawlin.

On Tuesday, residents raided the outpost amid claims that the Kantha police were among security forces who had killed one anti-regime protester and injured three others in Kawlin.

The police fled and protesters briefly took control of the outpost until about 100 troops from Shwebo arrived.

After the raid by residents, five firearms were reported missing. Of those, four have allegedly been found destroyed.

In Myanmar, tens of thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets day and night to show their defiance of the military regime.

The security forces of the military junta have been cracking down on peaceful anti-regime protests of people violently by using the live rounds, rubber bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and deadly air-guns firing lead pellets.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, more than 230 anti-regime protesters have been killed by the military regime’s security forces.

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