Locals in Puta-O demand death penalty for rapist

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Caption – Locals in Puta-O protest demand death penalty for rapist (Photo – K Sar Ram)

Locals protested on 13 May, demanding the death penalty for the man who raped and murdered a 15-year-old girl from Dote Hta Ward in Puta-O, Kachin state.

The suspect, who is from Mandalay and worked at an ironwork and furniture workshop in Puta-O, was arrested on the afternoon of 12 May, according to an official from the ward administration.

“He was arrested around 1pm yesterday (12 May). He was working in an ironwork and furniture workshop. He was arrested at his place and taken to the police station,” the official said.

The 24-year-old suspect, Ko Kyaw Thura Ko, not only raped and killed Ma Gun Rein Du Naw, but also took her cell phone. He was tracked down after he tried to sell the stolen phone at a mobile phone shop, said a local woman from Puta-O.

On the afternoon of 10 May, the victim went to a mustard oil mill with her mother. Her mother stayed at the oil mill while she returned home alone and was raped and killed on a deserted stretch of road, the official added.

“We heard that her fingers were also broken. She was raped and killed. The phone he had taken from the girl was sold at a second-hand phone shop, which led to his arrest,” said another Puta-O resident.

After Puta-O police, Rawang People’s Militia and the ward administrators jointly arrested the suspect, around 5,000 local residents, including the victim’s family, protested on the morning of 13 May. They demanded the death penalty for the suspect and called for cooperation to prevent such crimes.

“On the placards, they demanded above all the investigation of the case, a just conviction and cooperation to prevent such incidents from happening again. But they strongly demanded the death penalty for the suspect,” said a person who took part in the protest.

In 2022 and 2023, there were also two cases of rape of 12-year-old girls in the Putao Township.

Locals say there have been repeated cases of sexual assault against minors since the military coup, but that legal measures are inadequate.

Sent by KNG

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