2 Bawm people including a child killed in a joint forces crackdown in Bandarban

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Hill Voice, 24 May 2024, Bandarban: Two Bawm people including a child were reportedly killed in a joint forces operation in Sharon Para (village) of Sualak Union of Bandarban Sadar Upazila.

On May 23, 2024, the incident took place in Sharon Para on Bandarban-Ruma-Thanchi road.

Photo: Dead child Vanthang Pui Bawm (13)

The killed Bawm people were identified as Lalnau Bawm (27), son of Penkhub Bawm of Sharon Para and Van Thang Pui Bawm (13), son of Jarthang Lian Bawm of Bethani Para.

The joint forces claimed that the victims were to be the members of armed group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF).

However, local sources said that 13-year-old Van Thang Pui Bawm was a fifth-grade student at a local government primary school. Sources confirmed that he was not affiliated with the KNF.

Van Thang Pui Bawm is reported to have been shot and later died by a bomb explosion while fleeing with his parents fearing the army operation.

On the other hand, Lalnau Bawm is known to be one of the 42 trained members from Kachin State. He is an active KNF member.

A total of 10 innocent Bawm people including the said one child were shot dead by the joint forces in the name of operation against KNF from last 7th April. Among them, the army killed an innocent Bawm student studying BA Honors in the middle of last April, 5 Bawm villagers from Paynkhung Para village of Rowangchari on 2nd May and 3 students on 19th May.

It is reported that a total of 116 people have been arrested since April 7 in the ongoing anti-KNF operation by the Bangladesh security forces.

Notably, the KNF terrorist, after a successive bank robbery on 2 April Sonali Bank in Ruma and 3 April Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank in Thanchi, looted a huge amount of money along with 14 government firearms and ammunition, and abducted a bank manager. After the incident, from April 7, the joint forces led by the Bangladesh Army and the DGFI started a massive military operation in the Bandarban area.