Buddhist temple cordoned off by army during religious ceremonies in Balukhali, interrogation and searches

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Hill Voice, 4 August 2020, Rangamati:  A joint force of army from Rajmoni Para Camp and Subalong Camp surrounded a Buddhist temple during a religious ceremony in Kainda area of ​​ Balukhali union of Rangamati Sadar Upazila, interrogated the pilgrims and searched a shop of Jumma villager.

According to local sources, a group of army of Rajmoni Para Army Camp led by Md. Soleman in Balukhali and another group of army from Subalang Bazar Army Camp led by a commander met at Kainda Bridge shop around 10:30 am yesterday (July 3, 2020).

After that, the army again divided into two groups, one group searched the shops near the bridge and the other group went to the Joydwip Buddhist monastery in Kainda Dojari Para. The army vandalised the goods of the shop including cash boxes in the name of search in the shop, especially shop of Mangal Ranjan Chakma.

On the other hand, the army marching towards Bihar surrounded the Joydwip Buddhist monastery area of ​​Kaindya Dojari Para during the ceremony in the presence of about 300-400 people on the occasion of Asharhi Purnima. It is known that Buddhist monks were giving religious sermons at that time.

During this time, Army escorted the following four people from the venue to the Basanta Government Primary School near the bridge:

  1. Sanchay Chakma (58), son of late Gulmua Chakma, elected member of Ward No. 4of Balukhali Union;
  2. Rahim Badsha Tanchangya (72), son of late Palakya Tanchangya, Daine Kainda Tanchangya Para, he is a Karbari;
  3. Gandhi Lal Karbari (55), son of late Nishi Kumar Chakma, vDojari Para;
  4. Prem Lal Karbari (45), son late Abhimunya Karbari, Egajyachhari.

At the time, the commander of the army group asked a villager (who did not want to be named) whether the PCJSS meeting was supposed to be held here today, whether the extortion had been giver or not to terrorists. Are PCJSS terrorists in the area? ‘

In response to the army commander, the villager said, “The extortion was given to the Reformists staying in Subalang Bazar, which is well known to you. In the first week of May 2020, the Reformist commander Purnanga Chakma instructed the villagers over phone to pay Tk. 1.5 lakh on behalf of the villagers in all the neighborhoods in our Kaindya area in the first week of June. At the end of June, the villagers went to Subalong Bazaar and handed over Tk. 72,500 in cash to Reformist commander Artik Chakma, saying the rest could not be paid.”

Then the army commander, without saying anything, asked another Tanchangya villager whether he had paid any extortion.

In response to the army commander, the Tanchangya villager said, “Sir, you are looking for terrorists, you are looking for extortionists, can I say something about that?”

He further said, “Sir, it can be said that the Reformists in Subalong Bazaar are collecting extortion money from innocent people in front of your army in broad light in one hand, they are collecting extortion every day at Chairman Para of Jibtali Union by setting up regular checkposts in the neighborhood on the other hand. Don’t they fall under the category of terrorism and extortion?”

The army did not respond. It seems that the army are rather happy with the news of the extortion of the Reformists. It is learnt that the army left for their respective camps around 2:00 pm without telling anyone else.

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