Family of an old Jumma woman harassed by army in Gaindya of Rajasthali

Photo : Symbolic

Hill Voice, 16 July 2021, Rangamati: It has been alleged that the Bangladesh army have harassed a widowed Jumma woman and her family in Gaindya Union area of Rajasthali upazila under Rangamati Hill District.

It is alleged that the army often harassed and persecuted the old woman by conducting searches her home, ordering her to be present to the camp and threatening her with various allegations.

The name of the old Jumma woman is Murungi Tanchangya (58), wife of late Bhaladhan Tanchangya of Ghilamukh Amtali Para under Gaindya Union. At present Murungi Tanchangya lives at home with her eldest son’s wife and a younger brother of her daughter-in-law. Two of her three sons are in Rangamati Jail entangling them in a false case and the other is also fleeing the house in fear.

According to local sources, yesterday (July 15, 2021) at around 4:30 pm, a group of army members consisting of 16 personnel from the Rajasthali army camp went to Murungi Tanchangya’s house and first surrounded the house, then conducted a massive search of the house and looked for Murungi Tanchangya. Murungi Tanchangya was not at home at the time and was busy with Jum cultivation works. At that time, her eldest son’s wife Champa Chakma (32) and her younger brother were staying at home.

During the search, the army personnel took out the people of the house and took pictures of them and various things in the house.

Army personnel then told Champa Chakma that the old woman’s (Murungi Tanchangya) son was serving in the Shanti Bahini. The army ordered her that next day on July 16, Murungi Tanchangya and Karbari (village head) of the village should present at Rajasthali army camp. If they do not appear to the camp then there will be many difficulties. After staying there for about an hour, the army reportedly returned to the camp.

Meanwhile, after the incident, it has been reported that deep anxiety has arisen among old Murungi Tanchangya and her family. Today (July 16) she was instructed to be present at the army camp, but on the advice of some elders, she did not go to the army camp.

Some villagers, who did not want to be named, said they feared that army personnel might torture old Murungi Tanchangya if she appeared to the camp. It will not be possible for Murungi to endure this at this age.

It is to be noted that the army have reportedly intimidated Murungi Tanchangya by threatening more than once before and searched for her.

It is learnt that after the death of her husband a few years ago, Murungi Tanchangya was making a living by gardening and cultivating on her own land with her three sons.

About two months before the parliamentary elections in 2018, the situation in the area deteriorated rapidly with the emergence and beginning of armed activities of the military-backed ALP (Arakan Liberation Party) or MLP (Mog Liberation Party) and Reformist and UPDF (Democratic) terrorist groups in Rajasthali. At one stage, the situation became complicated by the military repression and false accusations against the local members of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and the people supporting the CHT Accord, on the one hand, and extortion, kidnapping, beatings and attacks by terrorist organizations such as the MLP, Reformist group and UPDF (Democratic) on the other.

At one stage, in 2019, the army took up Indraban Tanchangya, 35, the eldest son of Murungi Tanchangya, from the village and handed him over to the police. When Indraban Tanchangya was released from Rangamati Jail on bail on 25 May 2021, the army arrested him again from the jail gate on the same day and sent back him to jail by implicating him in the murder case of a Basu Chakma from Baghaichhari.

On the other hand, on May 8, 2021, the army arrested Sonaram Tanchangya, 26, younger son of Murungi Tanchangya from Bhalukya area when he came to visit his father-in-law’s house in Kaptai upazila bordering Rajasthali upazila, and sent him to jail on false charges.

It is learnt that Indraban Tanchangya and Sonaram Tanchangya cooperated in various democratic programs of PCJSS long time ago, at present but they are no more involved with the PCJSS for a long time.

Meanwhile, Dhanaraj Tanchangya, 31, the second son of Murungi Tanchangya, who once served as general secretary of the Rajasthali Thana Committee of the Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), has reportedly fled the house for fear of false charges and arrests by the army.

Some villagers, who did not want to be named, expressed deep concern over the repeated harassment and inhumane treatment of helpless old woman Murungi Tanchangya by the army.