A couple was shot and killed by regime troops in the Indian-Sagaing border town of Tamu on Tuesday morning, and their bodies later discovered in a roadside ditch, residents told Myanmar Now.
Kishan Goutam and Harimaya Goutam were on their motorbike when they were shot on the Pahe Bridge, locals said.
The husband and wife belonged to the Myanmar Gurkha community and raised cows for a living. At the time they were killed, they were carrying containers of milk, which it is believed they were going to sell.
“The Gurkha couple had milk and a motorbike, and they were dumped in a ditch,” a resident told Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity.
Their bodies were picked up by a local relief group and sent to a hospital morgue. The couple were parents, and left behind one daughter and two sons.
Fearing that troops would seize the bodies, the Goutams’ family members held a funeral for the slain couple on Tuesday afternoon in accordance with Nepali Gurkha tradition.
Myanmar Now could not confirm their exact ages at the time of reporting, but Kishan Goutam is believed to have been in his late 40s, and Harimaya Goutam was in her 30s.
On Tuesday afternoon, one woman and three men in Tamu were also arrested by the junta’s armed forces. On Wednesday morning, police and soldiers carried out searches in two wards of the town, according to residents.
“There was no shooting so far this morning. They searched the houses of those who were suspected of joining [anti-coup] protests and activities,” a resident said on Wednesday.
Prior to the murder of the Goutams, five people had been killed by the armed forces in the border town since the February 1 coup.
On April 1, one week after the first casualty in the town was reported, an anti-coup group killed five policemen during an attack on a police outpost. The leader of the group, a local policeman who had defected to the civil disobedience movement, was also killed.
On Saturday, locals ambushed a convoy of junta troops as they were entering the town to suppress protests. Using homemade hunting rifles, they killed at least three soldiers. Two civilians also died in the clash.
One day later, a sniper shot and killed a motorcyclist who was driving past a district police station in the town.
Many Tamu residents have fled to India following the murders, raids and arrests perpetrated by the regime’s troops.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, regime forces have killed more than 700 civilians nationwide since the military seized power.