University Student Detained in Kalay
28 July 2011: Burmese police has detained a Chin student studying Civil Engineering at the Kalay Technological University in Sagaing Division after he was caught in a raid at a local home that turned up with five grams of herion on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, personnel from the narcotic unit of Thahan police station raided a local house in Taungzalat Ward and arrested all occupants of the house after discovering illegal drugs hidden in the kitchen.
Rung Lian Ci (19), a first year Civil Engineering student, who was in the premise at the time, was arrested along with other occupants of the house.
Rung Lian Ci live with his grandmother in Pyin Khone Kyi village outside of Kalay Town. On Sunday morning around 8 a.m. local time, Rung Lian Ci was travelling to Kalay on his motorbike when he came across a stranger along the road. Upon learning that the stranger was heading to the same neighborhood as him, Rung Lian Ci picked up the hitchhiker and dropped him off at a house in Taungzalat Ward. On arrival at the house, occupants of the house offered Rung Lian Ci some tea as a gesture of gratitude for carrying the hitchhiker. Rung Lian Ci was attempting to leave the premise when police suddenly showed up and began searching the house. Upon discovering drugs hidden in the kitchen police arrested everyone in the premise, including Rung Lian Ci.
Police immediately took them to the Township Police Station where they were interrogated by Station Chief U Thet Wai. Alhough both the hitchhiker and other occupants of the house testified that Rung Lian Ci was innocent, the police refuses to release him to date. According to an informed source, the Police has yet to notify Kalay Technological University officials of Rung Lian Ci’s arrest and continuing detention.
Rung Lian Ci has an older brother attending at the Kalay Technological University. Both are known to be very active in student activities on campus.
A hearing is set for 8 August for Rung Lian Ci. But he is also due to appear for exams in the second week of September. He is said to be struggling to pay for a lawyer and fellow students have agreed to collect donation to help pay for his legal fees. But according to informed sources, a local lawyer has agreed to represent him after accepting an initial fee of 400,000 Kyats. Lawyer U Mya Aye has said that the charges against Rung Lian Ci, on conviction, carry a minimum jail term of three months.
“They know that Rung Lian Ci is innocent and yet they still charged him for the crime he didn’t commit. This is extremely unfair,” said a fellow student.