Thu 9 Aug 2012
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military,News
On the morning of August 2, a group of Burma army soldiers operating in northern Shan state entered the home of 48 year-old Lahtaw Ja Roi and proceeded to brutally beat her, according to the Kachin Voice news and website.
Ja Roi, a mother of three from Manhkum village near Munggu (Mongkoe) Kawnglung, says she was beaten by troops from a joint unit consisting of soldiers from Light Infantry Battalions 16 and 143. The soldiers believed her husband was a member of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Kachin voice reported quoting an extensive interview with Ja Roi. According to the Kachin voice Ja Roi later managed to escape after being severely mistreated for two days.
When the soldiers entered her home the victim initially dragged on the ground and tied to a post before her captors repeatedly physical assaulted her with punches and kicks to the head and body. According Ja Roi the soldiers were demanding to know the whereabouts of her husband Gamaw Kyang Bawm, the Kachn Voice reported.
On August 3 Ja Roi was taken by her captors to nearby Munggu (Mongkoe) Kawnglung village apparently in an effort to track down her husband. While the Burmese soldiers rested at the house of the village headman a badly injured Ja Roi was able to escape her captors.
According to Ja Roi when the soldiers first came to her home they immediately began to interrogate her about her husband. “They asked if he was involved with the KIA and if he knew where the KIA hid their weapons,” she said.
“I told them that my husband works for the village headman and that he was away at a farm”, she told the Kachin Voice. The soldiers were angered by her answers and proceeded to “tie me to a wooden pole in front of my house and beat me,” Ja Roi said.
“Next, they took me to the farm to retrieve my husband, but they couldn’t find him. They kept asking me to show them the KIA weapons,” she said.
It was the following day that soldiers told Ja Roi they would kill her unless she told them where her husband was. A few hours after this threat she managed to escape.
It is estimated that there are at least 10 Burma Army Battalions engaged in combat in the section of north western Shan where Ja Ro is from. Members of the KIA’s Fourth Brigade taking part in the fighting describe the situation as extremely violent, with clashes occurring on a near daily basis.