Extensive search and harassment in Jumma village by army in Bilaichari

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Photo : Symbolic

Hill Voice, 8 April 2023, Rangamati: Recently, there have been allegations of massive house searches and harassment of villagers in various Jumma villages of Bilaichhari Sadar Union of Bilaichhari Upazila under Rangamati District by the Bangladesh Army.

According to local sources, on April 4, 2023, a team of 70/75 soldiers of 32 BIR of the army led by the Commanding Officer (CO) of Dighalchari Army Zone of Bilaichhari Sadar Lt. Col. Md. Ahsan Habib Nasim PPM, PSC and 2IC Major Dr. Reza conducted a search operation in Malumya Pangkhoa Para inhabited by Pangkhoa community and in Malumya Tanchangya Para inhabited by Tanchangya community. During this time, the army conducted search operation in each house of the two villages and harassed the people of the house by asking them whether they have illegal weapons, what they do, where they live, etc. On that day in whole night, the army personnel stayed in the villages and roamed around the villages. During this time the villagers including especially the women and children felt scared. The next day (April 5) around 9/10 am, the army is said to have moved from there to the army camp.

On the other hand, last March 22, 2023, at around 1 am, a team of 35 soldiers of 32 BIR of the army led by a captain of Dighalchari army zone went on a patrolling operation in Jumma village of Kutubdia area. During this time, the army personnel surrounded the house of two Tanchangya villagers and searched the houses and harassed the villagers by questioning and threatening ‘whether terrorists come to the village, whether they collude with terrorists and collect extortion, etc.’

The victimized villagers are – (1) Lasing Tanchangya (40), son of Rangachan Tanchangya and (2) Mangal Sen Tanchangya, son of Nirang Tanchangya.