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Forty-five people have been detained in connection with last week’s bout of violence in Sandoway [Thandwe] township, according to the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP).
Speaking to DVB on Sunday, party executive San Aye said that a large majority of those in custody are members of local nationalist groups, including the Organisation for the Protection of Race and Religion. The RNDP chairman for Sandoway township, Maung Pyu, was detained late on 2 October. “In the custody are: one RNDP member and the chairman; twelve members of the Organisation for the Protection of Race and Religion and the Funeral Assistance Association; thirteen residents from the villages in the Singaung village-tract; nine residents from Thabyuchaing; and nine from Nathmawtaung,” said San Aye. “We have learnt that they are currently being held in Sandoway prison and will be charged for vandalism and arson.”
The Burmese government’s Ministry of Information announced on Saturday that 44 people – 42 men and 2 women – were detained and questioned in connection with the riots.
RNDP lower house member Pe Than said that party officials will visit Sandoway on 7 October to make inquiries about the detention of its local chairman.
“We are sending an investigative committee to make inquiries about the situation and will announce our findings in a report,” said Pe Than.
Five people were killed and five others injured in the three days of communal violence that erupted in Sandoway on 29 September. According to state media this weekend, 114 houses, three religious buildings and one gasoline warehouse were burned down, while 482 people were left homeless.