Hill Voice, 30 October 2023, Rangamati: BGB (local) allegedly hindered rising hot-air balloons on the occasion of Prabarana Purnima at Kukimara village of Ward No. 3 under Wagga Union in Kaptai Upazial of Rangamati hill district.
Under the leadership of Kukimara BGB camp Commander Razzak, a group of 4/5 BGB personnel obstructed it while balloons were being released from Kukimara in the air on the occasion of Prabarana Purnima festival on 29 October, at 8.30 pm. The Prabarana Purnima is the second largest traditional religious festivals of the Buddhists when candle-lit air balloons are set free to flow them in the air.
According to local sources, yesterday the Buddhist community at the Kukimara village organized a balloon releasing festival as per tradition on Prabarana Purnima at the local Buddhist monastery. Suddenly, BGB camp commander Razzak with 4/5 personnel appeared there and started kicking the balloons leaving the Buddhists shocked. There, the youths’ protest against the blasphemy to the festival led an altercation between BGB and them. As the villagers charged BGB for their blasphemy, BGB showed a lame excuse that the balloons might have fallen on the camp.
The villagers said, if really so happened with the candle-lit balloons, the BGB should have talked the matter the organizers. They did not even expect such heinous action of kicking the sacred balloons by BGB men. It is tantamount to contempt the Buddhist community.
At the face of the protest, there is reportedly supposed to hold a talk settling the issue between the local community and BGB on 30 October 2023.
It has been reported that as of the writing of the report, there remain anger and fear among the Kukimara Buddhist community.