Hill Voice, 18 January 2021, Bandarban: It has been alleged that two Jumma houses were searched massively and seven innocent Jumma villagers beaten up by the army in Rowangchari upazila of Bandarban district. These two incidents took place on January 16 and January 17, 2021 in a row.
According to local sources, a group of army personnel led by a lieutenant raided the village of Natun Para on January 16, 2021 at around 10:00 pm. During the raid, the army broke down the door and entered the house of Aungswethui Marma, 50, a resident of Natun Para. At that time, the army entered the bedroom of Aungswethui Marma and his wife Donuprue Marma, who were sleeping and conducted a massive search by ransacking clothes. At one point during the search, members of the army took Aungswethui Marma and his son Wangnaise, 16, out of the house at gunpoint and threatened to shoot them.
Army personnel also put weapons on their heads and asked, ‘Have you seen the terrorists? How many people have you cooked rice for?’ Army personnel then threatened to shoot the father and son if they did not tell them the truth.
During the search, though the army personnel did not find anything illegal and did not get any information from the father and son, they beaten up the father and son making them lie on the ground. They also beat up 5 other innocent Jummas from the same village. The victims were identified as (1) Uhlajnoyai Marma (36), (2) Garamang Marma (32), (3) Kwainu Marma (45) and (4) Khejabung Marma (40).
On January 17, the day after the incident, another group of army entered the house of Rehla Aung Marma, 50, of the same village and searched it. At that time, the army members asked the people of the house ‘whether there are terrorists, how did they build the house, how did they get so much money’ etc.
On the same day, the army personnel, seeing three pairs of shoes in the hands of a Jumma villager named MongsainuMarma (45) who was on the way to the Jum farm, asked him, ‘Why so many shoes? Are these shoes of terrorists? You are only one person, why so many shoes?’ He replied that he had three pairs of shoes for himself, his wife and child.