Two Indian nationals, both ethnic Tamil men, were shot dead near a high school in the Sagaing border town of Tamu yesterday afternoon, according to local sources.
The men, who were 28 and 35 years old, were from Moreh in the Indian state of Manipur and had reportedly been visiting friends living across the border.
“The ward is teeming with Pyusawhti militiamen, and it was they who killed [the Indian nationals]. They stopped the two Indians during a routine check. The men could not speak Burmese and had no idea what was going on. They were then shot and killed. Some people claimed they were money changers. Others said they were transporting goods from Tamu to Moreh,” a Tamu resident told DVB.
The junta later acknowledged that the pair were shot dead, saying that security forces were performing their own investigations into the killings.
“They are just spreading fake news that the military is looking for the culprits who killed those two men. Tamu PDF did not do anything. Saw Bwar ward is packed with Pyusawhti personnel, and they are responsible,” a Tamu PDF spokesperson told DVB, anticipating that any investigation led by the military will likely result in PDFs being assigned the blame.
Around 200 Manipuri people participated in protests at the India-Burma border yesterday evening. The group this morning called for the return of the victims’ remains, which are currently being held in Tamu.
Locals report that many avoid traveling to the ward in which the killings took place due to a high Pyusawhti presence in the area.
Certain Indian media channels today also reported that the two men were killed by the pro-military militia.