Raids have been carried out across the city ahead of this year’s water festival, which is typically a time of often raucous revelry.
Police in the Shan State capital Taunggyi are carrying out raids across the city ahead of this year’s Thingyan water festival, a time that typically sees a spike in illicit drug use and violent crime.
At least 14 arrests have been made in the city over the past week, including three cases involving weapons and 11 targeting the sale of narcotic drugs.
“We are doing this to prevent any trouble that could occur [during the holiday period],” Pol. Major Maung Maung Naing told SHAN.
“We have to be prepared for brawling caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, as well as rape fueled by sexual stimulant drugs,” he said, adding that police and other authorities would focus their efforts on five locations in downtown Taunggyi.
Coordinated raids were carried out at the Royal Taunggyi Hotel and the Forest Department gate at around 7pm on Wednesday as part of the city-wide crime sweep.
Local residents appeared to welcome the heightened security measures.
“Young people get pretty wild during the water festival. They drink a lot of alcohol and use a lot of drugs, and then they start fighting. It’s something we always have to bear in mind,” Taunggyi resident Aike Tun told SHAN.
According to Pol. Major Maung Maung Naing, 188 policemen will be deployed to provide 24-hour security at key locations around the city, including areas that attract large numbers of festival revelers.