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  • Hello and welcome to BBC World News.

  • A dozen police officers who fled from Myanmar to India have told the BBC they feared they would be forced to kill or harm protesters.

  • Security forces have turned to more violent tactics to try to stop demonstrations against the military, which seized power in a coup last month.

  • Our South Asia Correspondent Region DVD in Athens is on the border between the two countries, and she told us more about her exclusive interview with them.

  • I'm standing in the northeast Indian state of Missouri in, but just on the other side of the banks here is the country of Myanmar.

  • This river, which runs for some 400 kilometers, separates the two countries.

  • It's across here that dozens of people fleeing the military crackdown in Myanmar have fled.

  • We met a group of them policemen and women, all in their twenties, who say they fled the country after refusing to use violence against protesters.

  • The military officer in charge ordered us to shoot at groups of more than five people.

  • They said they'd take responsibility for it.

  • I have to desert the police department as I couldn't open fire on innocent people one officer said authorities in Myanmar have written to some local officials here in Missouri.

  • I'm asking that police officers are sent back to the country now.

  • The ones we have spoken to are living in fear at the moment.

  • But they believe that they are far safer here in India, even though many are separated from their family as the violence continues.

  • Now we're also hearing that security is being stepped up along this border.

  • But from what we have seen, it looks fairly easy for people to be able to make that journey.

  • And some locals saying that they are expecting more and more people to cross over into India as a military crackdown in Myanmar continues to worsen.

  • That was originally Vaidyanathan.

  • There will.

  • Meanwhile in Yangon, hundreds of soldiers have raided a railway workers compound after they went on strike to protest the military coup.

  • Many rail workers have joined the nationwide civil disobedience movement, now known as C D M, which has radically slow transportation in parts of the country.

  • Activists have said the soldiers at the railway station forced the workers to go back to work at gunpoint or leave the compound where many live workers live.

  • Now let's go straight to Jonathan Head, who joins us from Bangkok.

  • And Jonathan.

  • You and I spoke at the beginning of this coup.

  • And of course you shared your experience and understanding of how this military operates.

  • So no real surprises that this has gotten so bloody so quickly.

  • No, I suppose the timing was always uncertain.

  • But the fact is that the protest movement is far stronger and far more widespread and more determined than the military expected.

  • Uh, and they need to get control, and it's the only way they know how.

  • Now they're using a variety of methods.

  • We've seen, of course, the really dreadful use of live rounds of high velocity weapons with horrible injuries and deaths inflicted on protesters.

  • We've seen neighbors, neighborhoods been terrorized at night, a deliberate strategy not just of going in, firing weapons, shouting awful abuse at them and threats, but also smashing up people's motorbikes, going in and smashing their shops.

  • What we saw today at the State railway housing complex, I guess it's just an extension of that.

  • They, of course, are very furious about this general strike, of which the railway union is one of the key parts.

  • Uh, they want to get people back to work.

  • So they went and said, If you won't work, you don't have anywhere to live.

  • They've literally driven people out of their homes.

  • And we saw people walking down the railway tracks carrying elderly relatives who couldn't walk in suitcases.

  • And now there's an appeal out to try and find somewhere to put them, because these people are saying they will not go back to work.

  • They will not cooperate with this military regime.

  • And Jonathan, it doesn't seem like either side is going to back down.

  • No, you know, it's obviously it's something like a war of attrition right now.

  • Um, you know, it's really evolved a lot from this.

  • The large, colourful mass rallies and we saw at the start into this sort of cat and mouse, uh, fighting over different neighborhoods, and we're seeing every night it heats up a lot.

  • As the military goes in.

  • It's difficult to come up with any other word for it than just terrorizing neighborhoods, but also trying to capture as many people as possible.

  • We've got around 2000 people now detained since the coup.

  • Now, as we speak.

  • There are running confrontations going on in two hotspots in Yangon, in North Okay, Laputta Township and also in San Chong, where that siege took place a couple of nights ago.

  • Uh, and again, it looks like the military and police are trying to go in and arrest people and they're being confronted by local residents.

  • They're trying to dismantle barriers.

  • It's quite extraordinary to see this going on day after day, and you know, you're wondering which side will become exhausted first.

  • But the gradual ramping up of violence will have to take its toll.

  • I'm sure the military is calculating that they will.

  • They are more violence they inflict on people, the more they torment them.

  • With these 90 raids, the more likely it is that some people will just say we've had enough.

  • We can't go on.

  • And of course, this has all been confirmed by the report that Reggie has just done where defectors have said.

  • Police have said they were told specifically to shoot protesters.

  • Yes, and I think you know what we've seen that the language we've seen the police use and the army, the way they've treated people they've captured and what we've seen the police, some early, execute one man they caught in front of account, you know, a camera court from a distance.

  • We've seen them beat people dreadfully.

  • I'm in a way where they must have been awfully injured, and we simply don't know what's going on behind the walls where these people are being detained.

  • But we are getting a steadily increasing number of people who are going into into detention, and their families are being told to come and pick up their bodies the next day.

  • In that kind of environment, it's inevitable some people will resist.

  • But of course it's very difficult for either the police or military to resist.

  • Those who do are punished very severely, and their families are punished, too.

  • So I don't expect we'll see that many defections.

Hello and welcome to BBC World News.

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Myanmar police 'told to shoot' coup protesters - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/10
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