RANGOON — Maung Maung, a 23-year-old Rohingya Muslim man traveling from Arakan State’s Maungdaw to his home township of Buthidaung on Monday evening, was shot dead by a Burmese Border Guard Police officer, according to an investigating officer and the victim’s father.
The victim, also known as Mohamed Mussar, was in a vehicle transporting garlic and onions from the border township of Maungdaw when the alleged incident with border security forces occurred at around 9 pm on Monday.
According to police, the vehicle failed to stop at a checkpoint and was pursued by two police officers on motorbikes. While precisely what transpired is unclear, police say the victim was then shot and killed “accidentally.”
“He was shot in the forehead. But they told me that the shooting was accidental,” said Abul Kalam, Maung Maung’s 60-year-old father. “But how could you accidently shoot [someone] straight in the forehead?”
“I did not see the incident take place, so I can only say what I think,” he added.
A police officer involved in an investigation into the matter confirmed that the offending officer had claimed the shooting was unintentional.
“He told us his gun went off accidently when he got off his motorbike. He did not intend to shoot the victim. He then found blood when he opened the car door,” the officer said.
“We detained him [the perpetrator] and opened two charges. We will take action against him. But we have an ongoing investigation.”
The victim’s father was dubious the family’s demand for justice in the case would be fulfilled.
“I told them that I wanted to take action against the person who shot my son. They told me that they would. But there is no rule of law here. How they will take action against this person, we do not know,” said Abul Kalam.