Atrocities & extortion by army-backed Reformists continues in Subalong

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Photo: Subalong Bazar

Hill Voice, 21 June 2020, Rangamati:  Under the auspices of the Bangladesh army, the Reformist armed terrorists are carrying out various terrorist activities including harassing, beating, abducting, threatening and extorting from the Jumma people around Subalong area in Barkal upazila under Rangamati district. The army-backed Reformist groups are conducting their activities freely having setting up base in Subalong Bazar adjacent to the Subalong army camp.

On 20 June 2020 Friday at around 2:30 pm, a group of Reformist miscreants led by Purnanga Chakma detained and harassed the innocent 6 Jumma villagers of adjoining Billachhara village in Barkal Union, for a long time for allegedly failing to pay extortion on time.

The victims were identified as 1. Supriya Chakma (32), son of Jagatmoy Chakma; 2. Sourav Chakma (18), son of DhanaChakma; 3. Soukhin Chakma (14), son of Dhana Chakma; 4. Priya Ranjan Chakma (48), son of late Balaram Chakma; 5. Chitti Sabo Chakma (22), son of Bipin Kumar Chakma; 7. Pallab Chakma (22), son of Ujjwal Chakma.

According to local sources, the said victims were harassed by Reformist members when they reached at Subalang Bazaar on his way back after seeing undergoing treatment of a villager named Supriya Chakma, 32, son of Jagatmoy Chakma of samevillage at Rangamati General Hospital at the time,

It is learnt that the Reformists demanded Tk 16,000 from the villagers of Billachhara a month ago. But the villagers failed to pay the extortion within the stipulated time and hence the said 6 villagers were detained.

After detaining couple of hours, the commander of Subalong Bazar camp came to the spot and asked the Reformists to release them. Then the villagers were released. However, it is known that the Reformists were not in favor of releasing the villagers.

Shortly afterwards, the Reformists phoned Karbari of Billachhara village Mohan Lal Chakma (55) and told him that if the villagers failed to pay Tk 16,000 in the next 10 days, they would have to pay Tk. 3 lakh more.

It is to be noted that recently, it has been alleged that the Reformist terrorists have demanded Tk. 3,000 per person from all government and non-government employees of Barkal Upazila.

In addition, Under the auspices of the Subalong army camp, the Reformist terrorists inhumanely beaten an innocent villager named Jewel Chakma on 12 May 2020; abducted Dayal Muni Chakma, a resident of Suguripata village on 24 February 2020 and compelled him to pay ransom; abducted Sadhan Bikash Chakma, a resident of Dewanchar village from his home on 14 February 2020 and released him in exchange for ransom.

It may be mentioned that on 14 May 2019, a group of army personnel from Dighinala Army Zone of Khagrachhari Hill District brought a 14-member armed group of Reformists led by Purnanga Chakma providing security escort from Dighinala to Subalong Bazar of Barkal Upazila under Rangamati Hill District.

Since then, the authorities at the Subalong Bazar army camp have been providing security and shelter to the Reformist armed group. With the help of the army, the Reformists set up a check post at Subalong Bazaar. They continue to check all types of boats and passenger vessels freely and harass innocent passengers and traders in various ways.

The traders and the common villagers were forced to pay extortion. At gun point, they started collecting village-based mass extortion in the villages. Hence, the people of the area were terrified to travel through Subalong Bazaar due to the harassment of the Reformists.

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