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Salingyi Township police have accepted a First Information Report filed by the family of Ma Khin Win, the Mogyopyin villager who was killed in Monday’s clash between protestors and riot police at the Latpadaung copper mine site.
Farmer Khin Win, 50, was shot in the head when riot police opened fire on a crowd of villagers confronting them and trying to prevent workers from mine contractors Myanmar Wanbao from erecting fences around plots of land that the protesting villagers say were confiscated from them.
Nyan Tun, a member of activist group 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS), said they assisted Khin Win’s family in filing the report. He told DVB that the local police station, situated in Monywa District, accepted the case on the evening of 23 December and promised to launch an investigation once an autopsy has confirmed the death was caused by a gunshot.
“The police have accepted the family’s report and promised to open the case once an autopsy has been performed,” he said.
He told DVB that the report was filed by Khin Win’s sister-in-law, who lives locally, as her daughters live in Mandalay.
Nu Nu Aung, another 88GPOS activist who was present for the incidents at Latpadaung on Monday and Tuesday, said Salingyi police were initially reluctant to accept the report when the family approached them.
“We had to do a lot of painstaking talking with the police to convince them to accept the report,” she said. “They complained about the fact that the body was moved from the spot, and that the case was not reported to them immediately after Ma Khin Win died.
Khin Win’s body has been taken to Salingyi Hospital for an autopsy.
Meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party has released a statement calling for an “accurate and precise investigation into recent incidents in Latpadaung”, and “urged swift official action in accordance with the principles of Rule of Law and Tranquility”.
The statement, released on 24 December, said that a lack of implementation of recommendations presented by the Latpadaung Investigation Commission and the disregard of specific riot-control procedures led to events where civilian lives could be harmed.
NLD leader Suu Kyi headed the investigation commission in 2013, which recommended the Chinese-back project be continued on the Latpadaung site, much to the angst of many local villagers.
International rights group Amnesty International has also called for an inquiry into the killing.