The police have made arbitrary arrests of 12 ethnic Kachin students in Myitkyina, capital of Burma’s northern Kachin State and are demanding fines from them, sources among students’ said.

he teenaged students are from Edin (Eden) village from near Myitkyina downtown. They were put in a prison cell in the No. 1 Police Station downtown on Friday day morning for mocking three policemen passing by, said students.

No. 1 Police Station in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, northern Burma.

After being detained in the prison cell in the police station for over 10 hours, the students and their parents were forced to sign confessions. They were released on bail on the same night at about 8:30 p.m. by the police station in-charge Myint Swe, parents of the students’ said.

The police also photographed the parents along with their sons and blamed them for not being able to control students in the village, said a student’s mother. According to the parents, the police have secretly demanded at least 300,000 Kyat (US $291) as fine from the 12 students through village headman. Now bargaining is on regarding the amount of fine between the parents and officials of the No. 1 Police Station. The mediator is the junta’s Edin village administrator.

The students are angry at the deceitful manner the policemen have adopted against them and their parents. They are worried that this would set a precedent and the police would use extortion again in the future, said residents of Edin.

On Thursday at about 9 p.m. students were singing and dancing on the roadside at the entrance gate of Edin village. They mocked three policemen who were passing by after an inebriated policeman brushed against students with his motorcycle, said students.

The next morning, the village administrator was ordered to assemble all students at the village administrative office for a short meeting by policemen in No. 1 Police Station. Then the students were detained in the prison cell without any explanation, said villagers.

According to police station sources, under instructions of the Burmese ruling junta, the policemen have to book as many ethnic Kachin people as possible. The police are to be rewarded with promotions.

Residents of Myitkyina said, No. 1 and No. 2 Police Stations in Myitkyina are happy to register cases against Kachin residents because they can earn money or can be promoted.

During his regular inspection trip of Kachin State in February, Maj-Gen Ohn Myint, the junta’s former Kachin State’s commander and commander of No. 1 Bureau of Special Operation instructed his successor commander Brig-Gen Soe Win to take action against Kachin students and youth in different ways even if they commit minor offences, said sources close to Maj-Gen Ohn Myint.
Kachin News

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