Common villagers of Ruma and Rowangchari become hostage to threat, abduction and murder by Bawm Party

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Hill Voice, 13 February 2023, Bandarban: Common villagers of Bandarban’s Ruma and Rowangchari have become hostages due to threats, abduction, murder, eviction, forced collection of food grains by KNF known as Bawm Party. This has led to the kidnapping of 18 people since last year (including 11 Bawms, 6 Tanchangyas and 1 Marma), the killing of at least 7 people (including 3 Bawms, 3 Tripuras and 1 Tanchangya), displacement of one thousand residents of Bawm, Tanchangya, Tripura and Marma community of nearly two dozen villages, taking refuge of more than 700 Bawm villagers in Mizoram as refugees.

The latest victim of the abduction and killing of the Bawm Party was Lalramchanh Bawm (Laram Bawm) in Bogalake area of Ruma. On February 5, Laram Bawm, his son, wife, parents were abducted by Bawm Party terrorists during worship in the church in Bogalake Para of Ruma. Later, the four other family members were released from the halfway point, but Laram Bawm brutally killed without releasing him. 5 days after the abduction, on February 10, 2023, his half-melted body was found in a ditch at the mouth of the road in Runtong Para between Harmon and Darjeeling Para.

Bawm Party terrorists brutally killed Laram Bawm by cutting out his tongue, gouging out his eyes and slitting his throat.

Earlier, on June 21, 2022, terrorists of Bawm Party brutally killed three innocent Tripura villagers and shot two children in Saizam Para of Barathali Union of Bilaichhari Upazila of Rangamati by firing indiscriminately.

After the incident, from June 29, 2022, terrorists of Bawm Party evicted more than one hundred families of impoverished Jum cultivators of dozens of villages of Tanchangya and Tripura communities in Barathali Union of Bilaichari and Alekhyong Union of Rowangchari Upazila of Bandarban. The villagers of Tanchangya and Tripura community were forced to flee for their lives, leaving foodgrains and other belongings behind and leaving the Jum field, under the threat of shooting and burning their houses if they did not leave the village.

Then on October 15, 2022, Bawm Party terrorists abducted 6 Tanchangya villagers from Saizam Para in Barathali Union. Among them, 5 managed to escape from the hideout of the Bawm Party but one villager named Rangoa Tanchangya (32) could not escape. On October 19, 2022, the villagers recovered his throat-slit body at a place between Uluchara and Gangachara Para of Barathali Union. He was also hacked to death by terrorists of Bawm Party.

In November 2022, former UP member Lalpekthang Bawm alias Apek (49) of Sunsong Para of Ruma’s Remakri Prangsa Union, Karbari Biaksang Bawm (49) of Ruma’s Natun Para and Lalpiansang Bawm (32) of Sunsong Para were abducted by Bawm Party terrorists. After about 20/25 days, Lalpiansang of Sunsong Para was released. But the other two, Lalpekthang Bawm and Biaksang Bawm, have not been released till date. The family members believe that Bawm Party terrorists killed them. Even after killing, their bodies were not handed over to their families and their graves were not shown by the KNF terrorists. Their children are counting the days waiting for their beloved father to return.

In November 2022, Bawm Party terrorists also kidnapped a former UP member of Munnuam Para named Pakhum Bawm. He has not been released yet. His family members have no news whether he is alive or killed.

Since last November 2022, as a result of the threats and harassment of the Bawm Party and the army, 700 innocent children, women and men of the Bawm community from the remote villages of Ruma have been forced to evacuate their villages and take shelter as refugees in the Chamdur project area of Chawngte sub-division in Longtlai district of Mizoram, India.

On 17th and 19th of January last, Bawm Party terrorists abducted two innocent villagers named Singlum Lian Lusai and Lumiong Marma in two separate incidents in Ruma Upazila and left them injured after brutally beating them.

On January 27 and 28, 2023, about three hundred villagers of Bawm and Marma community were displaced from Bastalai, Artha Para, Happy Hill and Mualpi Para of Paindu Union of Ruma due to the threat and harassment of Bawm Party. In addition, people of about 12 villages of Ruma including Prangsa Para, Ili Chanda Para, Kaktai Para, Kronkhyong Para were forced to leave their villages and take shelter in various forests in fear for three days.

In this way, many families of Bawm community have been forced to leave their homes and flee to the neighboring Mizoram province of India due to the fear of torture and persecution.

On the other hand, the armed terrorists of Bawm Party threatened the residents of Bawm Para and ordered them to leave the village as they would attack the army camp adjacent to Bawm Para and if there was a war, the villagers might be killed in the firing.

In addition, cadres of the Bawm Party occupied the village school house and stayed. Fearing that the army may launch an operation, the cadres of the Bawm Party were asked to stay outside the village, instead of staying in the school house. On the contrary, they threatened to kill the villagers.

And only threats of beatings and death can be heard from the mouths of terrorists of Bawm Party. As a result, people are forced to spend their days in extreme fear due to the fear of murder and torture. Christian pastors, church elders and public representatives are not exempted from the physical torture and threats of the Bawm Party.

On the other hand, there are conspiracies such as providing timely support and strategic assistance to the Bawm Party by the security forces, sometimes operations against the Islamic militants taking shelter and military training in the Bawm Party hideouts to mislead the public, sometimes staging a drama of gunfight with the Bawm Party, tactically protecting the Bawm Party’s armed terrorists without attacking them, even knowing precisely the location of the hideouts of them. In addition, the daily life of the Bawm community has been completely poisoned by the army’s crackdown on ordinary Bawm villagers on allegations of terrorist activities by the Bawm Party.