Soldiers Beat Government Worker Over Power Shortage

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Soldiers from the Myanmar Army assaulted a man employed with the electricity ministry because their power was cut off, said a human rights group.

The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) said six soldiers from Matupi base IB-140, attacked Salai Boi Ha, age 30, in charge of the Bong Talar hydropower plant in Matupi, in Chin State.

Power for IB-140 was temporarily unavailable after the water powering a hydropower dam was low.

Salai Boi Ha’s left hand was broken and he suffered a head injury from the attack. The soldiers that beat him have been arrested and are being held in a military jail.

“They shouldn’t have beat him. This is a crime,” said Salay Tay Ra, field director for CHRO. “If a government employee is negligent in their duties lawful action can be taken… They (soldiers) shouldn’t bully government staff or civilians.”

During the dry season there is less water available to power turbines for the hydropower dam especially in April, Salai Boi Ha said.

Sometimes this results in power shortages for Myanmar Army bases IB-140 and LIB-304 and in Hpanai village and Sanboung ward in Matupi town. It happens every year, he said, “I don’t know why they beat me.”

Relatives of Salay Tay Ra demand justice and have threatened to sue the Army if it doesn’t provide adequate compensation for assaulting him. His relatives and the Army are meeting today for discussions.

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