Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Kachin activist Daw Bauk Ja arrested over 2008 death

National Democratic Force member and land rights activist Daw Bauk Ja has been arrested on charges related to the death of a man in 2008, her lawyer said last week.

Daw Bauk Ja. Photo: StaffDaw Bauk Ja. Photo: Staff

She was detained by police at her home in the Kachin State capital Myitkyina on the evening of July 18, said NDF leader U Khin Maung Swe.

Daw Bauk Ja was transferred to the police station in Hpakant township’s Karmine ward the following day, police in Myitkyina said.

“We don’t know the exact details of the case – we just arrested her and handed [her] to Karmine police station last night based on their request,” said Police Captain Ywan Sein from the Myitkyina district police station.

“We know that police charged her under section 304(a), which relates to causing death by negligence,” he said.

Daw Bauk Ja’s lawyer, U Myit Thwin, said she had been previously been charged under section 304(a) prior to the 2010 general election, in which she stood as a candidate for the Pyithu Hluttaw seat of Hpakant. However, the plaintiff agreed to withdraw the case in 2010, he said.

He said the case related to the death of a man who was treated by Daw Bauk Ja’s sister, who is a doctor in Karmine ward.

“Daw Bauk Ja used to help her sister and one day a man who had been treated by her died. They accused Daw Bauk Ja. I don’t know the exact details – she didn’t even realise a complaint had been submitted until the Union Election Commission told her that she had been accused,” he said.

“So we tried to find the man’s wife to withdraw the suit and she agreed to do so. We discussed it with the police chief and he said he would close the file. Our understanding was that the file has already been closed and as a result Daw Bauk Ja was then able to compete in the election as a candidate of the NDF.

“Now I have received information that the police arrested her and said she evaded the case.”

In the November 2010 election, Daw Bauk Ja competed against U Ohn Myint from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). She lost and submitted a complaint to the Union Election Commission but later agreed to withdraw the suit.

She was also an active participant in the campaign against the Myitsone Dam and has taken Yuzana Company to court for its land confiscations in Kachin State’s Hukawng Valley region.