Jan 9, 2008 (DVB), A man from New Dagon township in Rangoon has been arrested and faces criminal charges after an argument with a close relative of a local official, the man's family said.
Ko Win Ko, a villager from Htaung Taloke village in New Dagon township, got into a verbal argument with Ko Aye Min Soe on 31 December after the man failed to pay Ko Win Ko's brother Ko Myint Htun 40,000 kyat for farm labour he had done for him.
A family member of Ko Win Ko said that Ko Aye Min Soe’s older brother, village Peace and Development Council chairman U Aye Myint, then became involved in the argument and proceeded to throw punches at Ko Win Ko while his wife, Daw Aye Sein, also slapped him.
The following day, 1 January, U Aye Myint reported the case to the local police station and had Ko Win Ko and his father U Chit Khine arrested by deputy police chief Thet Zaw Oo.
The family member said that police also went to the house of Ko Win Ko’s younger brother Ko Hla Ko on the same night, but failed to arrest him as he was not at home.
"Ko Hla Ko’s wife Ma Thida was sleeping at the time [when the police came] as she has been ill, said the family member.
"A policeman went up to her in bed and beat her three times with a baton."
The family member added that the police had had no warrants for the arrests and were not accompanied by the village PDC officials as is required.
Ko Win Ko and U Chit Khine were sent to Insein prison on 3 January and are due to appear before Eastern Dagon [new] township court on 11 January.
Both the local township PDC and the police station were unavailable for comment.
Reporting by Naw Say Phaw