Shan State police have vowed “serious action” against an army serviceman who opened fire on a civilian vehicle last week, leaving one passenger dead.
On 2 May, a vehicle travelling on the road between the towns of Lashio and Mogok was fired upon by a Burmese government forces’ soldier at a checkpoint near the village of Pangwan. The driver had reportedly not immediately followed an order to pull over. A female passenger in the vehicle died from a gunshot wound.
Shan State police Deputy-Commander Aung Myat Moe told DVB on Wednesday that the soldier, a private from the 107th Light Infantry Battalion, opened fire on the vehicle without receiving an order from his commanding officer, and will face serious action for causing the civilian death.
“As the vehicle was travelling at high speed, it failed to stop immediately upon command. The serviceman, angered by this apparent noncompliance, opened fire,” said Aung Myat Moe.
“The soldier has been detained and the military will be taking serious action against him under the military code. We are also looking to press charges on him under Penal Code Article 304(a) [causing death by negligence],” he said. “As a soldier, he is liable for punishment under both military and civilian laws.”
Aung Myat Moe said the soldier could face up to ten years’ imprisonment under Article 304(a).
As of Wednesday, no details had emerged of offers of compensation for the victim’s family.