Army-RAB nab 7 Islamic militants and 3 terrorists of Bawm Party in Bandarban

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Hill Voice, 21 October 2022, Bandarban: RAB detained a total of 10 people including 7 militants of the newly formed militant outfit “Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya” and 3 terrorists of the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), an armed terrorist outfit known as Bawm party in the remote area of bandarban and Rangamati hill district, while raiding the den of the KNF. During the raid, a large amount of firearms and ammunition including various materials were recovered.

RAB’s Assistant Director of Legal and Media Wing Col. Khandaker Al Moin gave this information in a press conference at the Meghla auditorium of Bandarban Hill District Council on Friday (21 October) at 12:00 noon.

In the press briefing, he informed that recently being motivating in extremism several youths were missing from Comilla. RAB increased vigilance on the matter. RAB learnt that several other youths were preparing to leave home for joining in the militants group. RAB’s intelligence team arrested 4 youths while their leaving houses. Later, RAB handed over them to their families.

On October 6, RAB conducted raids in Munshiganj, Narayanganj and Mymensingh areas and arrested a total of 7 people including 4 missing youths and 3 extremists involved in inviting, supervising, training, providing shelter and other extreme activities. As per their information, RAB arrested a total of 5 militants from capital’s Jatrabari and Keraniganj including Habibullah who are the invitees and one of the financial providers of the extremist outfit and 3 other missing youths.

During interrogation, the detainees told RAB that several members of Harkatul Jihad (JMB) and Ansar Al Islam launched a new extremist organization in 2017. The outfit started operating in 2019 under the name “Jamatul Ansar fil Hindal Sharqiya” (Jamatul Ansar of Eastern Hind). As Huzibi, JMB and Ansar al-Islam were banned, continuation of their activities were difficult, so they left the organization and started  activities in this new extremist organization.

The arrestees also told RAB that many of the missing militants are currently conducting various activities of the extremist outfit including planning various sabotage and armed attacks from hiding in remote areas under the umbrella of the separatist organization in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Based on this information, RAB surveillance has been increased in the remote hilly areas of Bandarban and Rangamati for the past few days. From the night of last October 9, combing operations were onset in various remote areas of Bandarban and Rangamati hill districts.

On Thursday (October 20) night, RAB-7 and RAB-15 conducted the operation under the leadership of the intelligence wing of RAB headquarters in Saizam Para of Bilaichhari in Rangamati and Rawangchhari Bazar in Bandarban. During the raids, the following militants were arrested from the hill separatist KNF camp-

1) Syed Maruf Ahmed alias Manik (31), son of Syed Abul Kalam, Jagannathpur police station of Sunamganj District.

(2) Imran Hossain Shaon (31), son of Md Shah Alam, Swarupkathi police station of Ferozepur District.

(3) Kawsar Shishir (46), son of Golam Kibria, Shailkupa police station of Jhenaidah District.

(4) Jahangir Ahmad Janu (27), son of Fazlul Haque, Bianibazar police station of Sylhet District.

(5) Md Ibrahim Ali (19), son of Nayan Mridha Nurzzaman, Muladi police station of Barisal District.

(6) Abu Bakkar Siddik Bappi (23), son of Atiqul Alam, Golapganj police station of Sylhet District.

(7) Rufu Mia (26), son of Abds Salam, Chatak police station of Sunamganj District.

And the arrested members KNF who is harboring militant are- 1) Jouthan Sang Bawm (19), son of Lal Moon Sai Bawm, Rowangchari, Bandarban; 2) Stephen Bawm (19), son of Lal Min Sam Bawm, Rowangchari, Bandarban and 3) Mal Sam Bawm (20), son of Jik Bill Bawm, Rowangchari, Bandarban.

During this time, 9 SBBL guns, 50 round bullets, 62 cartridge cases, 6 long guns, 1 cartridge case, 2 cartridge belts, 1 foreign pistol and various domestic weapons, walkie talkie, clothes and other equipment were recovered from their camp.

RAB also said that this campaign is not against any particular ethnic group. This operation was against the banned militant outfits that came from the plains and took training in the camp of the separatist organization in the hills. He said that the operation of RAB is continuing.

Three arrested members of the Bawm Party confessed in the interrogation that Nathan Bawm had an agreement with Shamim Mahfuz, the advisor of the militant organization Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya in 2021.  According to the agreement, militant members are supposed to be trained in Bawm Party hideouts till 2023.  In return, the militants will pay three lakh taka per month to the Bawm Party and bear all the expenses of the Bawm Party members.

It is to be noted that for around three weeks, anti-terror combing operations of army and RAB is being carried on in the area around Kewkradong hill including Rainkhyong of Bilaichhari upazila of Rangamati and Saizam Para, Shippi Pahar, Ronin Para of Rowangchari and Ruma upazila of Bandarban district.

The Joint forces have launched operation based on reports that a militant outfit in the plains is having training with the help of hill armed terrorist groups.

Thousands of army and RAB personal participated in the operation. Helicopters were also used in the operation. Paramilitary personnel also participated in these operations in remote areas. In the recent times, it is a big anti-terror operation in the hills.

According to the latest news, the 10 arrestees by RAB have been handed over to Bilaichari police station in Rangamati district and a case has been registered against them under the Anti- Terrorism Act, 2009. Case No-2, Date-21/10/2022.

However, another source told Hill Voice that none of the 7 Islamist militants who were shown arrested were held from Saizam Para or Rowangchari or Ruma. It has been alleged that they were detained outside CHT and were shown detained in CHT.

On the other hand, those 3 Bawm youths who were shown arrested were apprehended early in the operation. They came to Bazar and were detained on the way. They were not detained from the hideout of the Bawm Party. Many have claimed that they are not even members of the Bawm Party.