A Muslim man who doused a Buddhist woman with fuel and set her on fire in Myanmar’s northeastern Shan state last month has been sentenced to 26 years in prison, according to police sources.
On May 28 Nay Win, 48 years of age, entered the petrol shop of Aye Aye Win in Laisho, Shan state and doused the 24-year-old with fuel then set her on fire. It was not clear what the motivations behind the attack were, but the victim was seriously burnt and is still in hospital.
The incident ignited about three days of rioting in Laisho, where mobs set fire to Mosques, houses and shops owned by Muslims in the latest episode of communal violence that has been affecting towns and cities across Myanmar.
According to the police two narcotic pills were found in the pockets of the man’s trousers when they arrested him.
“The man was charged with arson attacks and possession of narcotics by Lashio Township Court in the morning of June 11. In the afternoon, the ruling was made and the culprit was sent to Taunggyi Prison,” said Police Major Moe Zaw Lin, chief of Lashio Township Police Force.
Authorities are also interrogating the suspects involved in the arson attacks following the incident. More than 60 suspects are being questioned and 29 others have been released under guarantee as enough evidence could not be shown for their involvement, Moe Zaw Lin added.
Police Colonel Win Tun who is the Chief of the Shan State Police Force has said:
“We took severe action according to the law. Anyone can point out if the case is found unsatisfactory. Our police force will take legal action against anyone who commits a crime regardless of what religious background they come from. We will also prosecute all those involved in the murders, arson attacks and vandalism in the wake of the incident after questioning.”
Laisho is currently under a curfew from 10pm to 3am, according to local police.