Bawm Community’s demonstration to stop KNF’s terrorist activities in Bandarban

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Hill Voice, 24 May 2024, Bandarban: The Bwam community, demanding to stop KNF’s terrorist activities and release of innocent arrested students, organized a demonstration rally in Ruma sadar Upazila and in Uzani Para of Bandarban Sadar Upazila under Bandarban district.

In the demonstration held on May 22, 2024, at 10.00 am, around one thousand protestors were present in the anti-KNF rally hosted by the Bawm community.

Speakers at the rally said, “today, the Bawm people are living in insecurity, fear and terror and most of the villages are depopulated, people are migrating and displacing to different directions. The Bawm students cannot go to school and college. Their normal educational life is being disrupted. Then, is the KNF’s political ideology to create a nation without talent?

The speaker also said that the source of income of the Bawm community is fruit plantation and jum farming. Due to the short-sightedness of KNF, the crops and fruits produced by the Bawm community are lying unsold in the plantation today. So, is the KNF’s political philosophy to turn the community into an economically crippled nation? Due to the ongoing operation, the Bawms working in various public and private sectors are not able to go to their work.”

The speakers in the rally raised the following demands to the KNF and the government:

1. To Immediately return the arms and ammunition looted by the KNF.
2. To give up the terrorist activities and unrealistic dreams of KNF and return to normal life so that the Bawm people can enjoy their normal life.
3. No blame to the entire Bawm community for some misguided and strayed KNF/KNA members.
4. To find out the real culprits through impartial and fair investigation, and punish them.
5. To ensure that no innocent person is convicted and punished and
6. To immediately remove ban imposed on Bawm community on purchasing daily necessities

On the other hand, on May 19, 2024, at 3.00 pm, another anti-KNF rally was held in Uzani Para of Bandarban Sadar Upazila under the banner of Bawm Community.

Bawm Mahila Dal President Laloy Par Bawm, Young Bawm Association Assistanta General Secretary Lalpekthar Bawm, Bawm Mahila Dal General Secretary Ngunchuan Bawm, Bandarban Upazila Sadar Bawm Mahila Dal President Tuarnem Bawm spoke among others in the rally. The gathering was presided over by Rev. Giorgio Lancheo Bawm, pastor of Press Baptist Church in Kalaghata area and adviser of Bawm Social Council.

The following demands were raised on behalf of the community through the said demonstration-

1. Bringing real terrorists to justice through investigation.
2. Release the innocent detained students; Bawm students will not take the responsibility of the guilty.
3. Give Exemplary punishment to real criminals;
4. Bring the rise of KNF to the countrymen through an impartial and accurate investigation;
5. To give right to lead normal life of the Bawm society.

It is to be noted that KNF terrorists looted 14 weapons along with money by robbing Sonali Bank branch in Ruma, and Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank branches in Thanchi on April 2 and 3 consecutively.

Notably, the KNF was created by the army as a conspiracy to thwart the movement for the implementation of the CHT Accord. So, Likewise the colonial policy- divide and rule, the army and the DGFI have been creating armed groups one after another in the CHT. After exposing the news of providing shelter and military training to an Islamic militant group in exchange of money, the army were compelled to launch operation against the KNF under international pressure. But despite this, the army and the DGFI allegedly continue to strategical support to the KNF. Thus, today the KNF has become a boomerang issue of the army.