Myanmar: Nineteen policemen refused junta orders, fled to India

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At least 19 Myanmar police have fled to India, refusing to take orders from the military junta trying to suppress protests against last month’s coup.

As reported by Reuters, the men seeking refuge in India crossed into Champai and Serchhip, two districts in the north-eastern state of Mizoram that share a porous border with Myanmar.

All the men, crossing into India over fearing persecution due to disobeying orders, were reported to be lower-ranking policemen and unarmed. The Indian police official also told Reuters that they are expecting more people to come.

The Wire from India has reported that this is the first known case of police fleeing Myanmar, although several cases of police joining the civil disobedience movement and protests against the junta have been circulated on social media previously.

Myanmar soldier publicly refused taking orders and joined anti-coup movement

On another update from the country, a soldier, Shing Ling, posted a photo of himself on social media showing his refusal to take orders to suppress protests. The 30 year-old, who deserted the military following his post, said "I have felt so guilty and ashamed since Feb 1", as reported by AFP. Explaining his reasons to participate to the nationwide civil disobedience movement, he said "I was stationed really close to North Okkalapa, so it would be my gun that shoots unarmed people. I couldn't let that happen. That's why I decided to join."

While there have been isolated reports of soldiers, as well as police, refusing to be part of coup and follow orders to suppress protests, it is rare for them to publicly announce their refusal, for fear of retaliation.

Read the full story of Shing Ling's resistance here.

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