Hill Voice, 15 May 2020, Chittagong Hill Tracts: At least two places in Kuhalang area in Bandarban and at least one place in Rangamati’s Baghaichhari have been made brush fire by army-backed reformist armed groups in the dark of the night, in order to create panic in the area, divert the situation into other direction and widen their dominance.
It has also been alleged that members of the Reformist armed group have recently entered Bandarban to spread their dominance and terrorist activities in Bandarban district with the help of the army.
According to the Bandarban correspondent, on May 8, 2020 at midnight, Reformist armed terrorists fired at least five rounds of blank shots in the Kibuk Para area of Ward No. 2 of Kuhalong Union under Badarban Sadar Upazila and at least six more rounds in the Galachipa area as they were heading towards Bandarban Sadar. This caused extreme panic in the area.
On the other hand, Rangamati correspondent reported that on 13 May 2020 Wednesday at around 8:30 pm, Reformist armed terrorists fired 6/7 rounds of bullets at No. 1 Rubber Bagan area of Talukdar Para in Baghaichhari Union of Baghaichhari Upazila of Rangamati Hill District.
Although no casualties were reported, but panic spread in the Baghaichhari area following the blank shots. A local villager said the reformists fired brushes to dominate the area with the help of the army.
A Jumma resident of Bandarban, who did not want to be named, said that so far there has been no presence of Reformist armed groups in the Bandarban hill district. But recently, with the direct help and conspiracy of the Bangladesh Army, several groups of armed Reformists infiltrated into Bandarban. However, their number was not known for sure.
According to the relevant sources, on the night of May 8, 2020, the Reformist terrorists came directly from Khagrachhari by vehicle and entered Bandarban. They have already divided into several groups and taken up positions in several areas of Bandarban district. They are even reported to be trying to rent houses.
It is learnt that, that night, two persons named Ubamong Marma and Ratan Tanchangya brought an armed group of Reformists from Khagrachhari to Bandarban for the first time in a pick-up vehicle called B-70.
The vehicle entered Bandarban unabated at around 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the behest of the army, although public transport movement was declared to be closed down to prevent the coronavirus infection.
According to local sources, a vehicle carrying Reformist miscreants went towards Bandarban Sadar through Kuhalong Union under Bandarban Sadar Upazila at midnight. At that time, the Reformist armed terrorists fired at least five rounds of blank shots from the vehicle when they reached the Kibuk Para area of Ward No. 2 of Kuhalang Union. On the way, when they reached an area called Galachipa, they fired at least 6 more rounds of blank shots.
According to another source, an armed group of Reformist terrorists numbering 8 persons is currently stationed at Mangpru Jhiri in Balaghata area of Bandarban Sadar Upazila.
According to another source, another group of Reformist terrorists have already entered Rowangchhari area. There were reports that they were trying to rent two houses. One is the Thangsang Building next to the Rowangchhari army camp, the other is the Dipak Building in the market. However, it is learnt that no one is agreeing to rent the house to them.
On condition of anonymity, some experienced persons in Bandarban said that with an aim to undermine the movement for the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord; establishing a reign of terror with the Reformist armed group; to intensify and justify their repression on the Jumma people; and with the nefarious intention of further complicating and destabilizing the situation in Bandarban, the army have conspiratorially and directly assisted the infiltration of Reformist terrorists into Bandarban.
The government, along with the army, intelligence agencies and the ruling party intensified their conspiracy to brand leadership of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and the activists who are vocal for the implementation of the CHT Accord, as ‘terrorists’, ‘extortionists’ and ‘armed miscreants’.
As part of this, the army, BGB and law-enforcement forces are conducting fascist repression including indiscriminate search operations, arbitrary arrests, entangling in fabricated cases, killings in the name of crossfire, enforced disappearances, threats and harassment in the CHT in the name of finding terrorists, extortionists and armed miscreants in one hand, and are providing direct support and shelter to the Reformist and UPDF (Democratic) armed terrorists to spread their dominance on the other hand.
Accordingly, in the meantime, armed terrorists of the Reformist group and UPDF (Democratic), with the help of the army and intelligence forces, have taken up positions in Subalong Bazar, Naniarchar, Longadu Sadar, Baghaichhari in Rangamati district.
In all these areas, extortion, kidnapping, ransom, killing and threats of Reformist and UPDF (Democratic) terrorists are taking place under the auspices of the army.
It is to be noted that by taking the advantage of State of Emergency in 2007-2008, the army established a reign of terror and extortion by bringing opponent armed groups to various places in Rangamati district with the nefarious intention of thwarting the CHT Accord of 1997 and destroying the leadership of PCJSS, similarly, the army is now using the Reformist group and UPDF (Democratic) by taking the advantage of the ongoing lockdown in the COVID-19 epidemic. Many are of the opinion that the army are playing a similar role in the Bandarban district to achieve the same objective.