Crowd destroy Sittway police station
Damaged gate of police station.
4 June 2012 Aung Kyaw Soe and three others lodged a complaint at Sittway No (1) Police Station that, the tea shop at the corner of Setyonesu ward street in Sittway, they had a quarrel over collecting market tax with U Aung Than Wai, 45, son of U Sein Hla, who later fled them at 5.10 pm yesterday, threatening them with the knife he had already brought.
There were 50 persons gathering together at the police station when Daw Aung Than Mya, wife of U Aung Than Wai, accompanied by other nine women informed No (1) Police Station that her husband was missing at 7.30 pm.
The number of people gradually arose to 200. As Chairman of Sittway Township Rakhine Nationalities Development Party U Auns Mya Kyaw promised the crowd at 7.45 pm that he would search for U Aung Than Wai, an RNDP member, the crowd dispersed and U Aung Than Wai’s wife left the police station.
As the crowd of 300 gathered again in front of the police station at 9 pm, U Aung Mya Kyaw said he would brought Aung Than Wai and urged the crowd to disperse and left the police station.
RNDP Chairman Dr Aye Maung, State Agriculture and Breeding Minister U Kyaw Thein arrived at the police station at about 10 pm. U Aung Mya Kyaw brought Aung Than Wai to the police station at about 10.40 pm and requested the crowd to split up. The crowd did not separate and threw pieces of broken glasses and stones into the police station. The roofs of the police station building and staff quarters were torn and windbreakers of two vehicles owned by the police force were broken.
The angry mob attempted to break into the police station from the front door at 11.10 pm and the policemen tried to disperse the mob firing gunshots into the air. However, the mob did not break up and attempted to enter into the station again from the front door at 11.15 pm, breaking down the front lamp of the station.
The policemen did the same to disperse the mob which spread to both sides of the police station. But, the mob was still surrounding the police station, the police force members discharging duties had to use riot weapon and tear gas bomb at 1 am on 4 June to disperse the mob. The mob set fire on PCO building in front of Yoma Bank at the Junction of Main Street and U Ottama Street at 3 am.
In the incident, 12 civilians were wounded and were sent to Sittway Hospital. Nine out of the mob have been detained for investigation.
At present, a law has been enacted for peaceful gathering and procession for the sake of democratic and human rights. Nonetheless, such anarchic and lawless organized acts are totally unacceptable. So, necessary investigations would be made into the case and punitive measures would be taken under the law.