Case filed against 8 including AL leaders in Chairman Atomong Marma’s killing

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Hill Voice, June 2, 2024, Rangamati: A case has been filed regarding the murder of Chairman Atomong Marma, naming 8 individuals as accused. Mr. Marma served as chairman of Baratholi Union Parishad and President of the Baratholi Union Branch of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) in Bilaichari Upazila of Rangamati district. An additional 10 to 12 unidentified individuals are also implicated.

On May 31, at approximately 8 pm, Kasingmong Marma (61), the victim’s elder brother, filed a case with Bilaichari police station. The two assailants who fatally shot the Chairman are identified as Accused No. 1 and 2, with six accomplices. The case, registered under Case No-01, dated 31/05/2024, falls under Section 302/34 of the Penal Code.

The accused are –

1. Sahlaching Marma (42), son of Sahlau Marma, Baratholi Marma Para, Ward No. 5
2. Gunachandra Tripura (35), son of Arajan Tripura, Baratholi Tripura Para, Ward No. 4
3. Philip Tripura (55), son of Bidyaram Tripura, Baratholi Tripura Para, Ward No. 4
4. Waivar Tripura (50), son of Bidyaram Tripura, Baratholi Tripura Para, Ward No. 4
5. Sapruching Marma (35), son of Sahlau Marma, Baratholi Marma Para, Ward No. 5
6. Sadhuchandra Tripura (53), son of Prabhat Tripura, Prangja Para, Ward No. 7
7. Satyachandra Tripura (49), son of Lakshichandra Tripura, Pukur Para, Ward No. 6
8. Sujan Tripura (57), son of Sugchan Tripura, Pukur Para, Ward No. 6.

All the accused are from Baratholi Union of Bilaichari Upazila under Rangamati district.

According to the case statement, on May 21, 2024, at around 11:30 pm, while Atomong Marma was having a meal at his brother-in-law Chinghla Aung Marma’s (50) platformed (Macha) house, Accused No. 1 and 2 hid under the house before shooting him.

It is to be noted that among the accused, Sahlaching Marma (35) was the nominated member candidate of Ward No. 5 of Awami League, Waivar Tripura (50) is the vice president of Baratholi Union Committee of Awami League and ward member of Ward No. 4. The other accused in the case, Philip Tripura (55), is the elder brother of Waivar Tripura. Satyachandra Tripura (49) is president of Awami League in Barathli union committee and Saduchandra Tripura (53) is general secretary of Awami League in Barathli union committee. Besides, Sujan Tripura (57) is a local Awami League worker, an associate of the Reformist JSS and a rival candidate of Atomang Marma for the post of chairman in the 2015 election.

Immediately after being shot, Atomong Marma was rushed to the local Baratholi army camp, where he identified four individuals involved in the shooting to the army officers present: Sahlaching Marma, Waivar Tripura, Gunachandra Tripura, and Philip Tripura.

According to multiple sources, Abhilash Tanchangya, the defeated chairman candidate from Awami League in the Upazila Parishad elections held on the same day in Bilaichari Upazila, is believed to have directly instigated the murder.

The killing occurred on the same day as the Bilaichari Upazila Parishad election under the 2nd phase of the 6th Upazila Parishad Elections. Following election duties in the Baratholi Union area, the assailants shot Atomong Marma while he was having a meal at his brother-in-law’s house.

Birottam Tanchangya, supported by the PCJSS, was elected chairman in the Bilaichari Upazila Parishad elections held that day. In the Baratholi Union Parishad elections in 2015, Atomong Marma, supported by the PCJSS, was elected chairman. He also held the position of President of Baratholi Union Committee of the PCJSS.

On the night of May 21, Atomong Marma sustained serious gunshot wounds to the left shoulder, left thigh, and right chest. He was initially taken to the local Baratholi Para army camp and later taken by relatives and villagers to Ruma Upazila Health Complex in Bandarban at midnight. He was then transferred to Bandarban District Sadar Hospital and later to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

Surgeons at Chittagong Medical College Hospital successfully removed four bullets from his body during surgery. Following the operation, he remained in the ICU on life-support.

On May 30 at 11:38 pm, Chairman Atomong Marma succumbed to his injuries at Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

As of the writing of this report, no arrests have been made by the police in connection with this case.