Extensive military operation starts in Bilaichari, Ruma and Rowangchari upazilas, locals in panic

Photo : Symbolic

Hill Voice, 5 October 2022, Special Reporter: A massive army operation has been reportedly launched in the Rengkhyong (Raingkhyong) valley of Bilaichari upazila of Rangamati district as well as Ruma and Rowangchari upazilas of Bandarban district since yesterday (October 4). Reportedly, the armed cadres of army-backed Bawm Party terrorists have also been included with each army team.

So, it is said that there has been widespread concern among the indigenous Jumma people for fear of human rights violations by the army in those areas.

According to local sources, a team of 32 Infantry Regiment (BIR) of Bilaichari Army Zone of Rangamati district and another team of 28 East Bengal Regiment of Ruma Army Zone of Bandarban district separately launched operations in the Rengkhyong Valley of Bilaichari and some areas of Ruma and Rowanchari Upazilas since yesterday.

An army team of 100 personnel led by Commanding Officer of 32 Bir, Lt. Col. Ahsan Habib Rajeeb (PPM, PSC) has been deployed in Tangkhuitang, Bairakyachara, Raimongchara, Shilchari and Noadam areas of Barthali Union in Bilaichari upazila. Meanwhile, it has been reported, that army team started from Tangkhuitang army camp taking 30/40 labourers, and moved towards Raimongchara located on the bank of Rengkhyong river.

On the other hand, another army team is known to have left the Ruma army zone with a group of about 200 army personnel for military campaign. It is reported that this army team will conduct raids in Bartholi, Dhuppanichara of Bilaichari upazila and Arthapara, Mulfipara, Sunsongpara of Ruma upazila as well as Roninpara area of Rowangchari upazila.

Besides, an army team numbering 30/40 from Bartholipara army camp is reported to have advanced towards Gangachara in Rakhyangi valley.

It has also been reported that an army team numbering 80-100 of 5 East Bengal Regiment of Bandarban Army Zone under the command of Lt. Col. Mahamudul Hasan (PSC) has advanced towards Bairakyachara village in Rengkhyong Valley through Taracha Nala.

On the other hand, an army team of 70 personnel under the command of Ruma army Zone Commander Lt. Col. Hasan Shahariar Iqbal being divided into several sections has advanced towards the village of Gangachara in the Rengkhyong Valley.

Reliable sources said that along with each army team conducting the operation, around 5-7 armed members of the army-backed Bawm Party terrorists, were also included as guides. Also, the number of armed Bawm Party members has increased in the area between Gangachara and Raimongchara.

An eyewitness from Bandarban who did not want to be named said that it was actually a joint operation in different areas by Bangladesh army and Bawm Party.

He said that they suspected to have also members of Islamic militant groups along with the army team. The operation is being carried out by the army as part of a conspiracy to evict Jumma people from the remote areas of Rengkhyong, Ruma and Rowangchari through intimidation and repression.

He added that the areas have now been terrifying and alarming for the Jumma people.