Pletwa, Chin State: Three Chin hill-side cultivators were severely tortured and their tents torched by the Burmese Army on suspicion of having connections with the insurgent group the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) on July 24, according to official sources.

The victims are identified as---U Tha Aung (47), U Kyaw Zan (48), and U Ba Tun (50)--- and they all hail from "Phone Yang Wa"  village of "Kin Thalin" village tract, Pletwa township in  Chin state, Burma.

 

The three were arrested by operation group one, of Battalion No.289 of Pletwa Township from their hill-side cultivation (jhoom) huts on July 24 at about 1 pm while they were working on the accusation that they have connections with the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP).  Recently, in the first and second weeks of July, there were clashes between ALP and the Burmese Army near the hill-side cultivation site.

 

The victims' huts, where family members of the cultivators were staying were burnt down and the cultivators along with their family members were forcibly brought to their original village. They were not allowed to go back to cultivation. As a result, their hill-side cultivation is likely to be destroyed by wild animals and they will suffer loss of a year's earnings. For the next year, they will have no food and will have to starve, said a village elder of the locality.  

 

Earlier, the army ordered hill-side cultivators that such cultivations would be permitted only 1,000 yards away from the border area. The victims' cultivations are far away from the border and also they have permission from the concerned authorities.

 

But, the victims were told by Captain Soe Myint, the operation Commander of operation No.1 that the hill-side cultivations are near the border.