KIA Holding Motorbikes Until Kutkai Township Residents Pay Fine

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Residents of Kutkai Township are waiting for the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to return motorbikes they seized over a land dispute in northern Shan State.

Pang Lor villagers that KIA said they cut down bamboo and other trees on KIA land
Pang Lor villagers that KIA said they cut down bamboo and other trees on KIA land

The soldiers are demanding 1.5 million kyat ($840) and a cow from them for the return of the motorbikes, but a man from Pang Lor, who wishes to remain anonymous, told SHAN that they do not have much money. He said they’re trying to get the money or see if a better deal can be arranged.

”Some need their motorbike to go to market or to their farm. Without it, travelling is difficult. They also struggle to get food on the table, so they want their motorbikes back,” said another man from the village, who also asked that his name not be mentioned.

KIA said villagers cut down bamboo and other trees on their land
KIA said villagers cut down bamboo and other trees on their land



KIA officer Brang Gawng accused the villagers of refusing to pay. ”I can not believe the whole village does not have 1.5 million kyats. This is ridiculous. They are not communicating with me directly, but trying to get help from other organisation,” he told SHAN.

He said they cut down bamboo and other trees after being warned not to do so on KIA land. They then confiscated 15 motorbikes and told them they could get them back after paying a fine of 5 million kyat ($2,800). Later, the villagers negotiated this amount down to 1.5 million and the cow.

The villagers reported to SHAN that the Kachin soldiers beat up 6 people from Pang Lor when taking the motorbikes at the end of October.

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