Military Police Official Summoned In Alleged Beating During Search

A military police official in Rata­nakkiri province was summoned for questioning by his superiors on Monday after being accused of beating a driver whose car he had stopped for a weapons search, ac­cording to Tuy Sim, the commander of the provincial military police.

Prek Sarom, a 45-year-old rubber plantation owner, filed a complaint with the provincial prosecutor, accusing Seng Kosol, the deputy commander of the O’Yadaw district military police, of critically injuring him on Sunday evening during a traffic stop, Mr Sim said.

“It doesn’t matter if my official is right or wrong. He must be brought for re-education for his fighting, no matter if it was in self-defense or on purpose,” Mr Sim said, adding that he had instructed his men to investigate the incident and that Mr Kosol would be questioned again this week.

“He has done nothing wrong before, and he is not a big talker or known to be a gangster military policeman,” Mr Sim said.

Speaking by phone on Monday, Mr Sarom, the victim, said that he had been driving a truck loaded with rice to his plantation in Yatung commune on Sunday night when he was stopped near the district military police office for a weapons check.

He alleged that Mr Kosol verbally and physically attacked him after he questioned officers about the basis for stopping him.

“As I was about to get out of the truck, four military police were ordered by [Mr Kosol] to escort me, and then he punched me and beat me up seriously,” he said. “Without the intervention of villagers, I might have been beaten to death.”

Mr Kosol admitted yesterday that he had a violent altercation with the plantation owner, but he insisted that he was acting in self-defense.

“I am a judicial military officer and I know the law and my obligations,” he said. “I didn’t hit and punch him, but he instead kicked me several times.”

According to Mr Kosal’s version of events, Mr Sarom spoke rudely to military police conducting a routine check for explosives, and accelerated his car in the direction of several officers.

 

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