Hill Voice, 26 February 2022, Bandarban: At a recent meeting held at Galengya Union of Ruma Upazila under Bandarban Hill District with various Jumma public representatives and elders, the Commander of Bandarban Brigade of the army, Brigadier General Md. Ziaul Haque, said, “At present, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is in power in the country, but the country is run by the Bangladesh army.”
Reminding the special powers of the army in the country including the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the implicit threat to the local Jumma movement against the tourism of the army, Brigade Commander Md. Ziaul Haque added, “People in the area are protesting against the tourism run by the army. There will be no benefit from these movements. These need to be stopped. You should take step to withdraw the case filed in the High Court against the ongoing tourism run by the army, I will bear as much as it costs.”
“I will pay crores of taka, not lakhs, and the army must be co-operated to maintain peace and order in the area,” he added.
According to local sources, on February 21, 2022 Brigade Commander Brigadier General Md. Ziaul Haque made the remarks at a meeting with various local people’s representatives and elders organized on the instructions of the army during his visit to Galengya Union area. Many UP members and elders including Menrot Mro, Chairman of the Galengya Union Parishad, along with various army officers were present at the time.
It is learnt that the Brigade Commander at one stage instructed Chairman Menrot Mro to be present in the brigade office with all the members of his union and contact him immediately. In response, Chairman Menrot Mro said he would try to take the members there.
Meanwhile, a member of the Union Parishad, who did not want to be named, said that most of the people’s representatives feared that if they went to the brigade office, the army would forcefully or tactfully try to seize the tourist places owned by the indigenous peoples.