‘Allegation of ambush by PCJSS on fleeing Bawm villagers is baseless’

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Photo: Fleeing Bawm villagers

Hill Voice, 1 December 2022, Special Reporter: A senior member of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samit (PCJSS) has claimed that ‘the allegation of ambush by the PCJSS on Bawm villagers fleeing from Bandarban including Ruma to take refuge in neighboring Mizoram due to insecurity is completely baseless and fabricated.’

The leader of the PCJSS alleged that the KNF known as the Bawm Party is spreading this fabricated and baseless allegation with the aim of inciting the Bawm community against the PCJSS.

Today, on Thursday (December 1), a protest letter of Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) titled ‘We strongly condemn’ was published on the Facebook group called ‘Bawmram News’. It said, “In the meantime, we have heard that the JSS armed group are now in ambush position nearby Theka (India-Bangla border) with view to make hindrance for innocent Kuki-Chin-Mizo people who are trying to escape towards Mizoram state for safety. In our worse time, such JSS activities are really reprehensible deeds. And als a human rights violation! We strongly condemn it.”

As this matter was publicized in Bawmram News, many people have sent messages to the Hill Voice’s WhatsApp number to know whether JSS is actually involved in such inhuman activities. Then, after trying hard on behalf of the Hill Voice, it was possible to contact Aungthowaiching Marma, a central member of the PCJSS and former chairman of Ruma Upazila Parishad.

On contact of the Hill voice Aungthowaiching Marma told that about the allegation. He said it is completely false, baseless and fabricated.  There is no question of taking such inhumane action against common innocent people of Bawm community by PCJSS.  As it is known to all that PCJSS has been struggling for the rights of 11 ethnic groups of indigenous Jumma people including the Bawm community.

He added, “Rather being a responsible member of the PCJSS, I have already demanded the local administration as well as Bangladesh government to bring return the innocent Bawm victims sheltered in Mizoram by providing proper security and by declaring appropriate rehabilitation package. Even, I have demanded to stop harassing by the law and order and security forces of Bangladesh on the innocent Bawm villagers.”

Aungthowaiching Marma further added, “Whereas the PCJSS is protesting the ongoing harassment on the Bawm community and demanding that the women, men and children of the Bawm community sheltered in Mizoram be returned safely to their respective villages and places, such an allegation against the PCJSS is nothing but politically motivated. The KNF known as the Bawm Party has raised such conspiring allegations to divert the ongoing suffering of the Bawm community due to its suicidal and stubborn activities and above all to incite the common people of Bawm community against the PCJSS.”

Sajib Chakma, another senior leader of PCJSS told the Hill Voice, “As per my knowledge there is no armed group naming JLA. But even if there is an armed group under this name, which I may not be aware of. However, the PCJSS has no armed group. After the signing the CHT Accord in 1997, PCJSS has been continuing democratic movement for the implementation of the Accord and the right to self-determination of the Jumma people including the Bawm community.”

KNF’s systematic suicidal and imprudent activities

KNF known as Bawm party now has been disoriented due to indulging in suicidal and stubborn activities. Many people including elders of the Bawm community are of the opinion that the innocent people of Bawm community is now suffering because of the intransigence of the KNF led by Nathan Bawm and Vanchunglian Bawm.

Firstly, the KNF with the collaboration and instigation of army has been hatching conspiracy for divisions among the Jumma people. In fact, although the army is pushing for the development and rights of the Bawm people as well as six communities, their main objective is to create division among the Jumma people. It is the KNF that first stepped into the trap of the army’s divide and rule policy.

At present, the KNF claims to have been waging movement against the army as well as the government. It is needless to say that KNF was born in the womb of the army with the ulterior motive of subverting the CHT Accord and the ongoing movement of the Jumma people led by the PCJSS. Although there is a temporary conflict between KNF and army due to the sheltering of Islamic militants, it is clear to everyone today that the army had a conspiracy hand behind the formation of the KNF.

Secondly, KNF or KNA stepped into the trap of international terrorist groups, Islamic militants. For money, KNF known as the Bawm Party has been sheltering and providing training to the Islamic militant outfit called ‘Jamaat Arakan’ or ‘Jamaatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharquiya’ in their hideouts which are the most stubborn and suicidal.

Those who are aware of CHT issue know that the main goal of the country’s ruling class is to turn the non-Muslim CHT into a Muslim-dominated region. There is another fact that, this hilly area has been the target of Islamic militants for a long time. CHT region is strategically important to the Islamic militant groups as the region is closely linked to the Chittagong sea port, Myanmar and the northeastern region of India.

However, Nathan Bawm and Vanchunglian Bawm has sheltered those Islamic militants inside their houses and provided them space, who will one day swallow up the indigenous ethnic groups of the CHT, irrespective of Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Bawm, and turn the whole Bangladesh into a militant state. Even, it is a threat to the indigenous ethnic groups of North East India and Myanmar including Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura. But KNF is creating a breeding zone by cutting the canal for that crocodile.

Now, the CHT is playing a role like a buffer zone against Islamic expansionism. If the CHT become a fully Muslim-dominated region, then Mizoram and the Kuki-Chin-Mizo population will come to the front line of Islamic expansionism. The KNF is not only pushing the Jumma people into the throes of Islamic expansionism, but also the entire Kuki-Chin-Mizo-Rakhine peoples, and the indigenous ethnic groups in these regions.  It may not be imaginable now, but if it continues like this, it will happen in 50, 100 years without any doubt.

Thirdly, the KNF has stepped into the trap of Bangladesh army and Islamic fanatic groups is that to create a division among the indigenous people by standing against CHT Accord, PCJSS that a signatory party of the CHT Accord, the majority population of the indigenous ethnic groups of Jumma community such as the Chakma-Marma-Tripuras.

According to the PCJSS, no matter how much the KNF stood against the PCJSS, rather since the very beginning. The JSS had been following a tolerant policy. But dishonoring the tolerance and compromise, the KNF launched a treacherous surprise armed attack on pro-Accord activists in March-April this year. This has made a conflict inevitable which is extremely stubborn and suicidal.

The policy of the army as well as the Bangladesh government is to damage the Jumma people’s rights charter the CHT Accord, thwart the ongoing movement for implementation of CHT Accord as well as self-determination of the Jumma people under the leadership of the PCJSS and above all to create a division and conflicts among the Jumma ethnic groups. However, KNF known as a Bawm party has automatically stepped into that trap.

Therefore, just as the way the army, ultra-nationalist, fanatic groups and the ruling party spread propaganda against the CHT Accord, PCJSS and the majority Jumma communities, the KNF also utters the same pattern of propaganda like a parrot.

It is needless to say how far the army and the government would come forward for KNF projected Kuki-Chin state for the 20,000 people of Bawm community where the army and the government has been hatching conspiring against implementation of CHT Accord, the Charter of Rights of 10 lakh Jumma peoples. It is needless to say that no community will benefit from the conspiracy of division instead of unity.

Nathan and Vanchunglian gang might have some temporary gains by speaking out against the CHT Accord, PCJSS, majority communities as per agenda of army and Islam fanatic group, but it goes without saying that it will not bring any far-reaching good results to any community irrespective of Chakma, Bawm,  Lusai, Marma and Tripura and so on. Today’s suffering on the Bawm community can be considered as a clear indication of it.

Therefore, many rights activists including elders of the Bawm community have expressed the opinion that the sooner the KNF known as the Bawm Party can come out of such suicidal and self-aggrandizing activities and join the ongoing movement of the Jumma people of all walk of life to implement the CHT Accord and realize their right to self-determination, the better will be for the Bawm party or KNF, the Bawm population as well as all the Jumma peoples.