Bawm student shot dead and civilian including women, children arrested by army


Hill Voice, 23 April 2024, Special Correspondent: An innocent student of Bawm community, studying BA (hons), was allegedly shot dead in cold head by Bangladesh army conducting operation in the name of suppressing the army-created KNF terrorists in Ruma Upazila of Bandarban district. Having killed the student, the army is propagating that the student was an armed member of the KNF and was killed in a shootout with KNF, i.e. in a cross fire.

Besides, a college girl student of Bawm community was seriously injured in a drone attack and mortar shelling by the army.

On the other hand, 14 villagers including a 2-month-old child and women of Bawm and Marma communities were reportedly arrested by joint forces in the last three days. In addition, three others were released after temporary detention.

According to the sources, on April 22, a group of army abducted an innocent student named Lal Rem Ruat Bawm (21) from his house and dressed him in KNF uniform and shot him dead in cold blood. In the evening, the victim was falsely and conspiratorially labelled as an armed member of the KNF in a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Assistant Director Rashedul Alam Khan.

It was falsely stated in the statement of the army that, “the operation of the joint forces with the army against the KNF is going on. During the operation, there was shootout with the terrorists. At this, an armed member of KNF was killed. Various materials including weapons and ammunitions have been recovered.

The prey of murder Lal Rem Ruat Bawm was a BA (Hons) student of Bandarban Government College. He was from Sunsong Para of Ruma. His father Lalthuaitelong Bawm is known to be the headman of the local Mouza.

On the same day (April 22) at around 6:30 am, the army fired mortar shells (cannon shells) using drones targeting Munlai Para (village) of Bawm community in Ruma Sadar Union area. At that time, pieces of mortar shells pierced the body of a young woman named Saly Bawm (19), who was staying at home. The seriously injured Saly Bawm is known to be a student of Sangu College.

On the same day, the army reportedly arrested 6 more people from Ruma. Among the arrestees Bhan Mun Noam Bawm (33), son of- Lian Aung Bawm is one of the associates of KNF and president of Ruma Upazila branch of Bangladesh Chhatra League. It is reported that Bhan Mun Noam Bawm was expelled from the committee of Ruma Chhatra League after his arrest. The names of the other detainees were not known.

An innocent Marma Karbari is reported to have been conspiratorially arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on April 23 around 6:30 am. The victim’s name is Umamong Marma (50), son of- late Kayshai Aung Marma, Village- Natun Choroi Para, Kuhalang Union, Bandarban Sadar Upazila. A group of plain cloth RAB personnel arrested Ummayong Marma planting opium in his cowshed.

On the other hand, on April 20, 3 innocent women and 4 children were arrested by the joint forces in the name of so-called operation against KNF. On April 21, the women, along with the children were produced before a court in Bandarban and the court granted a 3-day remand for them.

The victimized women and children are- (1) Lal Ankal Bawm (24 years), housewife and jum cultivation by profession; (2) Lal Ruat Fel Bawm (21 years), housewife; (3) Lal Nun Pui Bawm(18 years), a 2nd year student of Sangu Government College; (4) Lal Thar Sang Bawm(4 years); (5) Lal Felina Bawm(2 years); (6) Ram Duh Thang Bawm( 2 month-old) and (7) Uniki Bawm (2 years).

It is also known that on April 22 at noon, a patrol group of army from the Munnoam Para army camp raided Munnoam Para and conducted a massive search operation and destroyed all the household items and furniture of the villagers. At the same time, another group of the army went on a raid in Kanan Para area of Meghla area of Bandarban Sadar Union. Going there, the army fired indiscriminately at a tong house (a shed in Jum farm). It is known that an elderly couple lives there to take care of a fruit plantation. Seeing the army coming towards them, they somehow managed to flee in fear.

It is reported that a total of 111 people has been detained from April 7 to April 22 in the ongoing anti-KNF drives by the security forces. Among them 4 were children, 5 associated with KNF and the rest are all innocent civilians. Among them, 23 people including 13 Tripura and 5 Marma have been released after detention.

It is to be noted that on April 2 and 3, when KNF terrorists carried out armed attacks and looting of Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank in Ruma and Thanchi, the joint forces led by army and DGFI have launched a massive military operation against KNF in Bandarban area from April 7.

Notably, the Kuki-Chin National Development Organization (KNDO) was formed in 2008 under the leadership of Nathan Bawm and Vanchunliam Bawm with the help of army and DGFI. Later, having support from army and DGFI in 2019, the KNF terrorists began terrorist activities against the implementation process of the CHT Accord and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samity (PCJSS) that signed the Accord.