Captain Thang Cing Thang, Camp Commander of the military outpost of Light Infantry Battalion (20) stationed in Shinletwa village in Paletwa Township in southern Chin state has fined the villagers, who have been accused of supporting the kidnappers, Kyat 6,000,000 (US Dollar 5,000) in cash as penalty.
Moreover, the Captain also threatened to set fire to the whole village unless the villagers met his demands, a villager from Paletwa Township said.
“He (the Captain) came to our village and said that we must pay Kyat 6,000,000 as penalty for lending a hand to the kidnappers,” a villager said.
On June 9, four unidentified gun men had kidnapped two villagers from Pawng Hmu village in Paletwa Township and demanded Kyat 7,000,000 ( US dollar 5,833) as ransom. One of the hostages is believed to be a nurse and the other is a student from Rangoon University.
The kidnappers kept the hostages for six days and then set them free after receiving a ransom of Kyat 2,000,000 (US dollar 1,666) from the Pawng Hmu villagers.
The kidnappers, who wielded guns, are believed to have used Chin language, while communicating with the villagers.
The military authorities targeted villagers from Ma U village as the unknown kidnappers were said to have used that village as a hideout for the kidnapping.
The Ma U villagers have no idea regarding how to garner the amount of money demanded by the military authority.
“We don’t know where to find that much money when we are living in such a poor condition,” another villager said. He also added that if the people were not in a condition to pay, they might have to flee from the village as another option. – Khonumthung.