‘Banned’ alcohol secretly sold by police in Thantlang
06 September 2013: Police in Thantlang town, Chin State have been caught selling ‘banned’ overproof (OP) alcohol from within the compound of their station, sources confirmed.
San Htun Aung, Deputy Inspector of Thantlang Police Force, sold three bottles on two separate occasions to local Chins who pretended to be alcohol-drinkers yesterday, according to the Hakha Post.
Pastor Sui Lian Kam, Chairman of Thantlang Churches Fellowship (TCF), one of community-based groups entrusted to deal with alcohol-related issues in the town, said the rumours turned out to be true after their ‘undercover’ investigation.
“We secretly sent two persons at different times because we wanted to see if the police are actually selling OP alcohol,” added Pastor Sui Lian Kam.
With the three bottles bought from the police station, the committee reported to Inspector of Thantlang Police Force Station, asking him to immediately probe into the matter.
“He [Police Inspector] said anyone from outside the police station was not allowed to conduct any investigation. A police officer in charge of the station and other policemen did the search,” added the Chin pastor.
While the pastor and his team were waiting, there were about 20 people coming to buy alcohol from the police, the newsletter said.
U San Htun Aung last Wednesday assisted the local anti-alcohol team at Laipawnglung checkpoint in inspecting passengers entering Thantlang town for any alcoholic drinks.
The police have been accused of breaking the rules to ban selling of any alcoholic drinks – a move they supported.
The Thantlang anti-alcohol committee comprising of town-elders, community leaders and Christian pastors called for taking necessary action against the case in accordance with laws and regulations.
Superintendent of Thantlang Township Police Force was quoted as saying that different laws should be applied between a Burman and a Chin when dealing with legal issues at court in Chin State.
Leaders of town communities and township support committee, and TCF as well as Chin MPs said they would stage a concerted protest if the case is handled unfairly and discriminately.
Last Wednesday, the anti-alcohol team seized a total of 70 rum bottles from U Maung Maung Htun, 41, Assistant Headmaster of Na Ta La School in Thantlang, at Laipawnglung checkpoint.
No action has been taken against U Maung Maung Htun while the court fined a local farmer 50,000 Kyats for carrying two cases of beer on a bicycle caught on the same day.
In March 2013 under TCF’s leadership, over 1,000 people in Thantlang took to the street in protest against selling and drinking of alcohols, with the help of police forces in the town.
Over 2,000 bottles of overproof alcohol seized were emptied in a public event in Hakha, Chin State. #