The junta’s armed forces raided Nwe Aye ward in Yangon’s Dawbon Township on Tuesday morning, with locals reporting that they arrested several residents after the ward’s administration office burned down on Monday night.
An activist from the area told Myanmar Now that 22 people were taken into custody on suspicion of arson after police and soldiers conducted a search on the ward office premises. It was not known at the time of reporting why those arrested had been implicated in starting the fire.
In video footage sent to Myanmar Now, around one dozen people were seen walking with their hands behind their heads surrounded by members of the armed forces on a street in Nwe Aye ward.
A member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in Dawbon Township told Myanmar Now that soldiers and police had arrived in Nwe Aye ward early on Tuesday morning and searched every street in the ward for people to arrest in connection with the fire.
The NLD member said he saw four people in his neighbourhood taken away by the armed forces.
“They arrived at around 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning and combed the area. They then arrested four people accused of the arson and took them away in a truck. They were rummaging through the neighbourhood,” he said.
The source noted that the Monday evening fire at the ward office only happened after the regime forces entered the area at around 7:00pm to disperse a crowd of anti-coup protesters. He maintained that the fire was not caused by any local residents.
In that same crackdown on Monday evening, at least three people were injured, the NLD member added.
“We dare not go out even during the daytime, [because we are] worried that there will be shootings. We all are always anxious,” he said.
The military regime has been pressuring its ward-level staff to open administration offices to enforce its authority at local levels. In some wards on the outskirts of Yangon, military council-appointed ward administrators have been forcing residents to report the presence of “overnight guests”—persons not listed on those residences’ household registration certificates—to ward offices.
While many residents still refuse to comply with this requirement, others have flocked to the ward offices to register their guests, fearing repercussions by the regime for not doing so.
However, many people, particularly in suburban and industrial areas of Yangon do not have local household registration certificates, as they migrated to the city from other states and regions seeking work. They too had been required to report themselves to the nearest ward office as “guests” in the area until the practice was abolished by the NLD government in 2016.
The reporting system, which was based on a provision in the Ward and Village Tract Administration Law, was revived by the coup regime soon after the military seized power on February 1.
Original Source – Myanmar NOW ( https://myanmar-now.org/en/news/regime-forces-blame-arrest-yangon-residents-after-ward-office-burns-down )