Army raid in Rowangchhari, 23 houses searched, 6 villagers harassed

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Hill Voice, 2 May 2020, Bandarban:  The army have conducted a massive searching operation in some Tanchangya villages in Sadar Union of Rowangchhari Upazila of Bandarban District for three consecutive days. In three days, the army searched at least 23 houses waking up the Tanchangya villagers.

During the search, the army harassed the family members and interrogated them unnecessarily. Besides, in the middle of the night, six innocent villagers gathered in a place of the village and harassed him in various ways. This has caused widespread panic and anger in the area.

According to local sources, on 2 May 2020 from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm, a group of army from Rowangchhari Army Camp searched the houses of 10 persons in Natingjhiri Para of Ward No. 9 of Alekkhyang Union of the Rowangchari upazila.

The 10 villagers whose houses have been searched in Natingjhiri Para are: Sanu Tanchangya (48), s/o late Jitendra Tanchangya; Likkya Thanchangya (50), s/o late Lalit Chandra Thanchangya; Koli Thanchangya (27), s/o Mohin Kumar Thanchangya; Mohan Lal Tanchangya (65); Wasin Thanchangya (27), s/o Mohan Lal Thanchangya; Arvindu Tanchangya (75); Khokon Tanchangya (35); Parikya Thanchangya (50); Shasan Moni Tanchangya (Karbari) (70); and Dili Kumar Tanchangya (50).

Again, on 01 May 2020 Friday from approximately 10.30 pm to 12:00 pm the army from Rowangchhari army camp patrolled in Taimrangchhara Para of Ward No. 1 of Rowangchhari Sadar Union. At that time, the army gathered 6 villagers in the yard of the house of Sundalal Tanchangya (Majhi) and interrogated and harassed them unnecessarily.

Those villagers who have been harassed and interrogated in Taimrangchhara are Ratri Kumar Thanchangya (Karbari) (52), s/o late Chigan Choga Thanchangya; Laxmi Kumar Thanchangya (48), s/o late Chigan Choga Thanchangya; Rango Lal Thanchangya (48), s/o Lolly Mohan Thanchangya; Kalo Sen Thanchangya (40), s/o Karthik Chandra Thanchangya; Milon Thanchangya (50), s/o late Khuladhan Thanchangya; and Sunda Lal Tanchangya (Majhi) (55), Ping dead Khuladhan Tanchangya.

At that time, the army searched at least half a dozen houses in the village. During the search, the army asked where the terrorists were, who was nurturing them, who were the terrorists in the village and so on. The army group left, instructing the villgers to report to the camp if terrorists come in the village.

Earlier, on 30 April 30 2020 Friday from 2.30 am to 4.00 am, another searching drive was conducted by the army from Rowangchhari Army Camp at Wagai Para of Ward No. 9 of Alekkhyong Union in Rowangchhari Upazila. At that time, the army searched the 7 houses of the villagers.

The 7 villagers of Wagai Para whose houses have been searched are- Bishwanath Thanchangya (48), s/o Mohan Lal Thanchangya, Chairman, Alekkyong Union; Bimal Tanchangya (Karbari) (80), s/o late Bhaladhan Karbari; Swapna Sen Thanchangya (38), s/o Shuklasen Thanchangya; Rabindra Sen Thanchangya (41), s/o Shuklasen Thanchangya; Debashish Thanchangya (Teacher) (40), s/o late Palang Thanchangya; Gyana Ranjan Thanchangya (former headmaster) (70), s/o late Nalani Mohan Thanchangya; and Reagan Barua (35).

On the other hand, on 2 May 2020, about 100 military personnel from Gachkatachhara army camp of 6 East Bengal in Bilaichhari upazila of Rangamati district patrolled in Merangchhara Marma Para of Kengrachhari union of Bilachhari upazila.

The locals said that they visited a site to set up a new camp at that time. The owners of the land are Maung Karbari, Misaung Marma, Singlaprue Marma and Runaiprue Marma s/o Chailya Aung Marma. According to local sources, the land is settled in their name.

Today on 2 May 2020, a group of BGB personnel of Chaichal Para BGB camp surrounded the house of Kamal Kanti Karbari (Chaga Hulu), head of Guichhari (Mug Para) village of Barkal upazila. However, no one was reported to have been harassed.

After the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord in 1997 between the government of Bangladesh and Parbatya Chattagra Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) with the aim of finding a political and peaceful solution to the CHT problem, in 2001 the then Awami League government imposed de facto military rule called ‘Operation Uttaran’ (Operation Upliftment) violating the Accord.

Instead of withdrawing all the temporary camps from the CHT as per the said Accord, new camps are contrarily being set up in the CHT.

By virtue of the ‘Operation Uttaran’, on the one hand, the military forces have been conducting indiscriminate military operations in the CHT, illegal arresting, beating, sending to jail, searching houses, harassing; on the other hand, illegal control of general administration, law and order, development, judiciary, etc.

On the other hand, the state machineries including security and intelligence forces, law enforcement agencies and the administration have been continuing one after another conspiracy to identify the Jumma people who are vocal for demanding of implementation of the CHT Accord as terrorists, extortionists and miscreants.

As part of this, the military forces have been conducting massive searches in the villages in the name of searching terrorists and harassing innocent Jumma villagers, arresting them putting arms with arrestee, sending them to jail and beating.

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