The Arakan Army (AA) has continued to detain parliamentarian Huay Ting in their custody but on Monday morning released nine other people they had been holding, according to a Chin State government spokesperson.
AA forces took Huay Ting, who represents Chin State’s Constituency 11, into their custody on Sunday. Along with him, they detained five Indian nationals working on road construction within the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, two translators, and two boat operators. The group was traveling from Paletwa in Chin State to Kyauktaw in Rakhine State, an active conflict area.
“They released all detainees at 6:00 a.m. this morning except for parliamentarian U Huay Ting. They have kept U Huay Ting for questioning,” Chin State municipal minister Soe Htet told Khonumthung News on Monday.
According to Soe Htet, one 60-year-old Indian national died from a stroke while he was being detained.
“His body, and the eight other detainees were released. They went to Kyauktaw, and then they traveled to Sittwe,” he said.
AA spokesperson Khine Thukha told Khonumthung News that his organization would continue to hold Huay Ting for “security reasons” while they carry out an investigation. Only after the investigation had concluded could he say whether the parliamentarian would be released.
“We have many reasons to keep him,” Khine Thukha said, adding, “Huay Ting has been working together with the Burma Army.”
He alleged that the MP had tried to form a Khumi youth organization—an ethnic group that lives throughout Paletwa Township in southern Chin State—with the purpose of collecting information about the AA and its movements.
“He has created disunity among the Rakhine and Khumi ethnic peoples… Rakhine and Khumi people have been living together in this region for so many years,” Khine Thukha explained.
Khonumthung News could not confirm or refute the claims made by the AA about Huay Ting’s activities.
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FACEBOOK: An AA spokesperson said that parliamentarian Huay Ting had been working against their group, and that they would continue to hold him for security reasons.
TWITTER: #Arakan Army releases detainees, continues to hold #ChinState MP