3 Bawm students shot dead by army in Rowanchari

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Hill Voice, 19 May 2024, Bandarban: 3 innocent Bawm students were reportedly killed in a brush fire by a Bangladesh Army patrolling group in Ronin Para area of Rowangchari Upazila in Bandarban district.

Today (May 19), this killing took place at 5 a.m.

The killing incident is being propagated in some media outlets by the army, labelling the victims as the KNF terrorists.

The victim students of the killing incident were- 1. Edie Thang Bawm (24), son of Van Mun Bawm, a student, BA (Hons), Bandarban Government College; 2. Rual Sang Nuan Bawm (16), son of Sim Kual Bawm, a SSC student of Rowangchari Government High School and 3. Rual Min Lian Bawm (20), son of Zirthon Bawm, a student of Nua Para School and College. All the victims were from Ronin Para village of Rowanchari.

According to local sources, a patrolling group of army encountered with an armed group of the KNF in Paindu Khal area between Ronin Para and Debachara area this morning. There was an exchange of fire between the two sides, but no casualty was reported from either side.

As a result of the incident, the army took Bhajya Kumar Tanchangya (35), son of Sushil Karbari of Debachara Para (village) forcefully to Ronin Para. At that time, having seen the 3 victim students in a Jum house (farm house), the army shot and fired motor shells at them indiscriminately. The students were killed on the spot.

At that time, the 3 students were staying in the Jum house in Rowangchari fleeing their village, fearing the army’s ongoing military operation against the KNF terrorists known as the Bawm Party.

Subsequently, the army intentionally propagated that ‘3 terrorists were killed in a gunfight with KNF’ and, ‘arms, wireless devices and equipment were recovered’.

It is reported that the bodies have been handed over to Rowanchari police station.

A rights activist from the Bawm community, who did not wish to be named, strongly condemned the deliberate and cold-blooded killing of innocent Bawm students by the army in the name of operation against the KNF terrorists.

In all, 9 innocent people were shot dead by the joint forces since April 7 in the name of operation against the KNF. Among them, an innocent Bawm student studying BA Honors in the middle of the last April, 5 Bawm villagers from Painkhyong Para village of Rowangchari on May 2 and 3 students today (May 19), were shot dead by the army.

It is to be noted that, after looting 14 weapons along with money by robbing Sonali Bank branch in Ruma, and Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank branches in Thanchi by the KNF on April 2 and 3 consecutively, the joint forces led by Bangladesh army and DGFI are conducting the operation against the KNF terrorists.

Notably, the KNF has been created by the army as a conspiracy to thwart the movement for implementing the CHT Accord and ploy creating arms group one after another in CHT based on the divide and rule colonial policy. Later, when the fact– sheltering and providing military training in exchange of money by the KNF to Islamic militant group was leaked, the army and Bangladesh government were forced to conduct military operations under international pressure against the KNF. Thus, today the KNF has become a boomerang issue for the army.