The charred remains of missing farmers found in Kalay village
The Zoland People’s Defense Forces, a PDF group based in Tedim County, Chin state, blamed the assassination of its leader on the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), an armed group based in along the border between Chin and India.
Cin Sian Sum, a 38-year-old entrepreneur who was primarily responsible for PDF Zoland’s recruiting and training efforts, was killed in a Tedim house where he was hiding on Sunday, an officer from the group told Myanmar Now.
“We heard that he was shot twice, one to the chest and one to the head,” said the officer, who requested anonymity.
A funeral for the slain PDF leader, who is survived by his wife and three sons, took place on Monday, PDF officer Zoland added.
According to the officer, the assassination was carried out by the ZRA, which had been in contact with Cin Sian Sum the day before his assassination.
Through a third party, the ZRA told Cin Sian Sum that they wished to meet with him to discuss the disappearance of a ZRA member who had not been seen since late November.
Cin Sian Sum refused to meet with the group, citing health reasons. He also denied that the Zoland PDF had anything to do with the missing ZRA member.
âThe ZRA invited him to a meeting a day before his death. They also threatened us, demanding an explanation. It seems they have a grudge against our group. I think it’s clear that they carried out the attack, âthe officer said.
The ZRA denied responsibility for Cin Sian Sum’s murder and said the charges were “baseless”.
The ZRA was first formed in 1993. In 2005, it was transformed into a border guard force in the Indian state of Manipur. Efforts to reach the group to comment on PDF officer Zoland’s claims have gone unanswered.
In April, the ZRA issued a statement saying it would join the fight against Myanmar’s dictatorship. Since then, however, he has carried out multiple attacks against other anti-regime groups based in Chin State.
On May 22, he attacked a camp run by young Tedim and seized five guns and destroyed other items, such as cell phones and cameras, worth around 3 million kyat.
A second attack took place on June 16, when it invaded another camp operated by local resistance fighters and seized weapons and other items, including a generator, diesel tanks and medicine.
The next day, he issued a statement saying that he would not allow the formation of any type of armed group on his territory.
The most recent attack took place on September 21, when the group raided a camp set up by young people of the Hualngo ethnic group in preparation for the formation of an anti-junta defense force.
In response, the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) warned that it would take serious action against the ZRA if it continued to “intimidate” the local defense forces.
PDF officer Zoland said the group would now be actively engaged in fighting with the ZRA, in addition to its operations against regime forces.
âIt seems that the revolution has doubled in size, because now we have to deal with the groups that support the military council as well,â he said.
He added that Cin Sian Sum’s murder would not have a serious impact on the group’s operations.
âHis death saddens us, but it won’t be much of a problem for us as a group because we have the support of the people. So nothing has changed much in our group, âhe said.