Bawm, Lusai, Pangkhua people encounter with indiscriminate extortion by KNF

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Photo : Symbolic

Hill Voice, 9 January 2024, Bandarban: Due to reckless extortion of the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) known as Bawm Party, the Bawm, Lusai, Pangkhua communities reportedly are in a miserable condition. With the issue, there prevails despair and exasperation among victims.

According to a report from a reliable source, every family of 3 communities- Bawm, Lusai, Pangkhua particularly from Bandarban- are compelled to pay monthly to the extortionists of KNF for the last few months. The common people of these communities are in a state- they can neither say anything, nor tolerate them.

As per several reliable sources of the communities, the people- every government employee Tk 3000, NGO employee Tk 500 and ordinary jum farmer Tk 300- are forced to pay to meet KNF’s demand.

They are said to be extorting or attempting to extort money not only from Bandarban but also from other hill districts and plain districts beyond Bandarban hill district.

Notably, not only extortion, from Bawm, Lusai and Pangkhua communities, but also various terrorist activities have recently increased in various areas of Bandarban, including snatching poultry and domestic animals and money from other communities by KNF terrorists.

On December 16, 2023, in several moves, a 15-member armed group of KNF took away 6 roosters, 1 goat and Tk 5000 from a Buddhist monk from 3 villages of Paindu Union under Ruma Upazila in Bandarban hill district. They also beat up 7 innocent Marma people of the village for no reason.

On the same day (December 16, 2023), another group of 12 KNF terrorists snatched Tk 70,000 from a banana trader of Ruma bazar Md Jamsed halting his motor bike at a place named Sath Kilo under Shiraton Para in No. 8 Ward of No. 2 Ruma Sadar union under Ruma upazila in the morning. Later, with the mediation of leaders of the Bawm community, the KNF terrorists refunded the money after two hours. However, as per their demand, the victim had to send Tk 5000, in the name of celebrating Christmas, instead of demanded Tk 25000 to the terrorists while refunding the money at 7.30 pm on Bkash No. 01575443755.

On December 15, 2023, in the middle of Abichalita Para and Durnibar Para of Ruma-Rowangchari road, the KNF terrorists robbed Tk 1000 from two bikes at Tk 500 each and Tk 6000 from 2 jeeps at Tk 3000 a head blocking the vehicles.

It is worth mentioning, the ferocities of this terrorist have been mounting to an unbearable state after holding meetings with the Shanti Committee (Peace Committee). A focal point of their consensus at the November 5 meeting was that the KNF and the army would not attack each other during the dialogue. Having taken the advantage, the KNF terrorists are now carrying out these sorts of extortion and terrorist activities.

An elderly villager, on condition of anonymity, said the army pretends to be unaware. The army have been indirectly indulging the KNF carrying out extortion and oppression to the people, he said expressing anger.