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Train passenger escapes military recruitment

Oct 8, 2008 (DVB), A train passenger was apprehended at Thar Si station in Mandalay division in August by soldiers who beat him and tried to force him to join the army.

Aung Zaw Myo, son of Kyaw Shein from Myay Char village in Meikhtila district, was returning home from work on a local Mandalay-Thar Si train on 25 August when he was apprehended.

As he left the train at about 10pm, four soldiers in civilian clothing stopped him and asked to see his national identity card.

The soldiers then refused to return his card and took him to a room near the ticket booth on platform 1 and tried to intimidate him into joining the army, beating him for nearly an hour after he shouted to a ticket seller for help.

Although he managed to escape, Aung Zaw Myo had to leave behind a bag containing some clothes, 50000 kyat and the identity card.

When he reported the incident to the transport police, they refused to take action as they said it involves the army but gave him a sarong and allowed him to stay the night.

Aung Zaw Myo then went to the brigade 99 base in Meikhtila to try to retrieve his belongings, but officers at the base refused to help.

An army driver took him back to Thar Si where he was able to collect his bag, but his money and clothes were missing.

His identity card was also retained until his father and uncle returned to the base to get it back.

Nineteen people were reportedly abducted by troops from Light Infantry Battalion 420 from Thar Si township and forced to join the army on 10 September.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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