Hill Voice, 17 February 2023, Rangamati: It have been alleged that Bangladesh Army conducted a harassing search at an innocent Jumma’s house in Jurachhari of Rangamati district and harassed the local elders in Balukhali of Rangamati Sadar Upazila.
According to local sources, on February 15, 2023, around 8:00 PM, a group of Army and DGFI from Jokshabazar army camp under Banjogichara army zone of Jurachari upazila conducted a massive search at the house of Pritipurna Chakma, son of Kamini Ranjan Chakma of Balukhalimukh village of Ward No. 2 of Jurachari Union.
During the search, the army and DGFI members harassed the family members of the Pritipurna Chakma by asking various irrelevant questions. During this time, the army harassed Pritipurna Chakma purposely by asking ‘where is the money that the terrorists deposited in your shop in the afternoon?’ and passed various threatening words.
However, the army and DGFI personnel reportedly left there at one point as nothing illegal was found after searching the entire house.
On the other hand, on February 14, at approximately 3:00 pm, a group of army comprising 20 personnel led by Captain and Sergeant Md. Lokman, Commander of Morishyabil Army Camp of Balukhali Union of Rangamati Sadar Upazila, carried out a patrolling operation to Kaindya area.
Meanwhile, the army stayed at the site of a withdrawn army camp in that area for about two hours. It is to be noted that this army camp in Kaindya Para was withdrawn after 1997 as per the terms of the CHT Accord.
It is reported that the group of army stayed at Basanta Government Primary School that night.
According to local sources, on the morning of February 15, the commander of the army group sent instructions to the local villagers to meet him at Basanta Government Primary School between 10/11 am on this day.
As per the instructions of the Army Commander, the former UP member of the area Sanchay Chakma, Mahendra Lal Karbari (village head) and reserved female UP member Shefali Chakma went to meet the army Commander at Basanta Government Primary School.
At that time, the army commander tried to harass the Jumma elders by asking various questions like “do terrorists come to that area, do they extort, do they stay there” etc.
Meanwhile, the army commander ordered that a signboard hung by the army in 2021 should not be removed from the said abandoned army camp. After that, the army have left the place yesterday 16 February around 7:15 am.
Patrolling operation in Bilaichari
It is reported that Bangladesh Army dividing into several group have conducted patrolling operations in different Jumma villages and hills of Bilaichari Upazila under Rangamati District.
It is reported that many villagers were subjected to harassing interrogations by the army though there was no report of torture. Apart from this, seeing the patrolling operations of 2/3 army groups along with utensils in different directions, anxiety and panic spread among the people.
According to local sources, on February 13, around 9 am, a group of army comprising 40 personnel led by a major of Bir 32 Bengal from Bilaichari army zone first took a position at the government primary school of Bangalhaba village in Ward No. 9 of Kengrachari union. Then from there an army of 20 personnel went to Parihala Moun (mountain) and took position.
Besides, on February 14, in the morning, another army group from Bilaichhari army zone went and joined Bangalhaba Government Primary School. After that, another army group with foodstuff and laborers moved towards Parihala Moun.
On the other hand, on February 13, a group of army numbering 20 personnel from the Merangchara army camp have carried out patrolling at Taglakchhara and taken up a position there.
At that time, the army members harassed the local villagers by asking them where the JSS terrorists were, whether they came to collect money, where they stayed, etc.
It is known that the army that came out of the Merangchari army camp carried out patrolling at different Jumma areas and returned to their army camp on February 15.
It has been reported that the army groups of Bilaichari army zone returned to the army zone on February 16, after conducting patrolling operations at various villages and hills on the border of Bilaichari and Jurachari.