Rioters set fire to the buildings and machinery in Hpakant

Writer: 
Aung Hein Min (Hpakant)
Burnt-out buildings and machinery (Photo-Ko Win Maung)

 

Hpakant – Rioters set fire to Yadana Shwe Eake company’s buildings and machinery worth over Ks 100 million and looted about two tons of raw jade stones in Hpakant, according to the township administrative office.

A yet to be unidentified scavenger who tried looting raw jade stones is amidst the riots was killed and three other people are wounded when policemen providing security for the company opened fire to scatter the rioters. The injured are admitted to Lonkhin hospital as inpatients.

The fire destroyed four two-storey buildings, one single-storey building, two small dumper trucks, four big dumper trucks, three big water pumps, two vehicles, two three-wheeled motorcycles and one grader. The rioters also destroyed a 12-wheeled fuel bowser and five one-storey buildings, sources said.

The riots happened on May 13 as the company ordered early working hours. After that the workers demanded their salaries as well as overtime fees but negotiations with the company’s representatives were not to their liking. As a result, intoxicated and agitated drunken workers started throwing bricks at dorm buildings and subsequently set fire to them.

Jade Scavengers that came to loot raw jade stones amidst the incident are reportedly from Sankha and Mawpone Villages located nearby.

The police lodged a complaint against 52 culprits at Lonkhin police station under Section 457/ 436/ 427/ 336/ 294/ 114 of the Penal Code where 49 of them are company staff. They have been detained at the police station the other three remaining at the hospital are scavengers, according to the police.