Burmese soldier killed; villagers forced to search for lost gun
|News – Khonumthung News|
|Tuesday, 30 September 2008|
|The body of a Burmese soldier, suspected to have been shot dead by smugglers, was found on September 26 in the forest near Leilet village in Falam Township, Chin state in western Burma.|
The dead soldier was a Lance Corporal of LIB (228) stationed in Tibual village in Falam Township. He was shot dead while on duty monitoring activities of smugglers and other traders trying to cross the Indo-Burma border to Mizoram state, northeast India, according to villagers from Leilet village.
On September 26, the Lance Corporal along with two soldiers returned to camp after duty in the forests near Leilet village. But, the Lance Corporal returned to where he was on duty to pick up something he left behind, a villager quoted the two soldiers as saying.
Becoming suspicious because he was gone a long time, the two soldiers went to the spot and found him dead.
A medical team from Kalay arrived in Leilet to check the body.
“The doctors said he had a bullet hole in the head and cut marks, possibly made by a knife, on his neck,” a villager said.
The soldier’s gun was missing. It is believed to have been taken by the unknown gunmen.
The soldier’s body is yet to be buried as it needs to be inspected by the tactical commander of Chin state Brigadier Hung Ngai, a Leilet villager said.
On hearing of the soldier’s killing, 90 soldiers from Kalay town arrived in Leilet village to help the army in hunting the unknown gunmen.
No organization has claimed responsibility for the killing of the Burmese soldier as yet.
The soldiers reportedly forced the villagers from Leilet, Singai and Hmawngkawn villages, near the spot of the killing to search for the lost gun
“All the villagers were engaged in searching for the gun. We could not do our own work. Some suspicious people were also interrogated,” another villager from Leilet who arrived on the Indo-Burma border area said.
He added that some villagers fled to India in order to avoid torture and interrogation by the ruthless Burmese soldiers.
Some village council members from the three villages were summoned for interrogating the murder.
Leilet village is located on the track that is used by smugglers to cross the porous Indo-Burma border from Chin state to Mizoram state.