MP blames local authorities for Htan Gone riot

MP blames local authorities for Htan Gone riot

Kanbula township MP Myint Naing has blamed local authorities for a lack of preparation in the wake of a riot which resulted in dozens of Muslim properties being burnt down in the village of Htan Gone where 50 percent of the population is Muslim and the other half Buddhists.

The upper house representative of Sagaing’s division’s constituency 3, a member of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), also criticised the township administration for a lack of transparency over the incident.

Myint Naing told DVB that he had travelled on Sunday to Htan Gone where he met with district police chief Col Ohn Hlaing. However, he said he was denied the opportunity to talk with 12 detainees who were arrested for rioting.

“The local police said they will investigate the case and release a statement in due course,” the NLD representative said. “But they didn’t allow me to meet with the suspects and they didn’t tell me where they were being detained.

“Where is the transparency?” he said. “This incident occurred due to a lack of preparation by the township administrators.”

Myint Naing added that he intends to visit Shwebo prison where a Muslim youth is being held on suspicion of attempting to rape a Buddhist woman in Htan Gone on Saturday evening. When rumours spread in the town that a Muslim had been detained over rape allegations, a mob of Buddhists quickly ascended upon the local police station where he was being held and demanded he be handed over. When police refused, the mob began looting and burning Muslim properties.

Myint Naing said he was told that many of the rioters were not from Htan Gone.

DVB tried to contact the police and administration office for independent verification but were unable to get a reply.

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