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A policeman who drew his gun on locals in a heated argument over appointment of a village official in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township has apologised for his behaviour.
Soe Zaw Zaw, vice-commander of the Combat Police Battalion based in Hpakant, was attending a meeting about the appointment of an administrator in the village of Hmawbon when he got into a heated debate with residents who objected to the idea of reappointing the outgoing administrator. A photo of him pointing a revolver at a local resident, with finger on the trigger, quickly circulated on social media on Wednesday.
Sein Mar, a spokesperson for the Hpakant branch of the National League for Democracy (NLD), said the villagers, upset by Soe Zaw Zaw’s behaviour, reached out to the party to help them file a lawsuit against him but later decided to forgive him after he apologised to them in person at a meeting mediated by NLD officials.
“We arranged a meeting with both parties at the Hpakant NLD office,” said Sein Mar. “The police officer who brandished the gun explained that he had just been transferred there six days earlier, and as the village is located in an area with heavy KIA activity, he assumed the villagers arguing with him were rebel members, so he pulled his gun on them.
“He apologised to the villagers and they forgave him — the villagers even felt bad for the officer, as never in their lives had a policeman ever apologised to them for his wrongdoing.”
Sein Mar said the villagers were thankful to the NLD for their assistance in resolving the issue and were planning an event to honour party officials who helped them.