Buddhist monastery and houses searched, vandalized and people harassed by army in Rangamati

Photo: Symbolic

Hill Voice, 12 October 2022, Rangamati: It has been alleged that a Buddhist monastery in Suvalong of Barkal upazila and three Jumma houses in Gaindya union of Rajasthali upazila under Rangamati district were made extensive searches, vandalism and harassment of people by Bangladesh army.

The incident took place yesterday on 11 October 2022 in the morning in two separate operations by the army.

According to local sources, early yesterday morning, celebration of Kathin Cheebar festival was on in Baghachola Gyanodaya Buddha Vihara with the participation of Buddhist people from different areas of Suvalong Union under Barkal Upazila.

During the religious ceremony, an army team of about 120 personnel led by Rangamati Army Zone Commander Lt. Col. Atiqur Rahman and Suvalong Army sub-zone Commander Captain Awal went there and searched inside and outside the monastery cordoning off it.

In such a religious ceremony, the people present there were terrified by such aggressive behavior of the army.

At one stage, the army team took away two persons named Sujal Chakma (26), son of late Deenabandhu Chakma, village- Nanyachara, Suvalong and Jeeban Chakma (24), son of Shanti Kumar Chakma, village-do from the venue to another place. The army detained them there for a while and mentally harassed asking various questions. However, later the army team left the spot and released the innocent victims.

An eyewitness who attended the religious ceremony and did not wish to be named said that the army deliberately and purposefully carried out such illogical activities to harass and intimidate the Jummas. It is nothing but the military’s disgrace and obstruction in observing religious culture.

On the other hand, at around 9:00 am on the same day, a group of army personnel from Bangal Halia Army Camp of Rajasthali Upazila searched the houses of three Jumma villagers in Gaindya Union and ransacked and vandalized household items, burnt clothes and snatch away money.

The victim villagers are- (1) Akrapung Marma (42), wife of Suinumong Marma, Occupation- agriculture, Village- Krongsangong Para, No.9 Ward, Gayindya Union, (2) Suisaching Marma (42), son of late Thwaisapru Marma, Occupation- day labourer, Village-do and (3) Hlasuyu Marma (64), son of late Sagyu Marma, Village- do.

According to local sources, the army first entered into the house of Akrapung Marma and broke the furniture, dishes and cooking pots of the house and burnt the clothes.

On the other hand, the army personnel also snatched taka 20,000 found in the house during search. After that, the army broke into the house of Suisaching Marma and Hlasuyu Marma. The belongings and clothes of the houses were said to have been ransacked by the army.