Hill Voice, 3 May 2022, Rangamati: The recent news of recovery of home-made gun, ammunition and equipment by 12 BGB Chhotaharina Zone of Barkal Upazila under Rangamati Hill District has been alleged to be a staged drama. According to the source, this incident of seizure of arms, ammunition and materials by the BGB was premeditated and conspiratorial practice.
It may be mentioned that on May 1, 2022, the BGB propagated through several online news portals that a group of BGB led by Lt. Col. SM Shafiqur Rahman, Commander of 12 BGB Chhotaharina Zone, patrolled Udon Chadara area in Bara Harina at around 11:00 pm. It was learnt in the details of the incident that the BGB team was divided into three groups and chased after the terrorists but the terrorists were able to escape through the hilly jungle.
It was claimed that the BGB recovered 3 home-made guns, 5 rounds of ammunition, 1 sharp weapon and various types of clothes and personal belongings after searching.
Meanwhile, a reliable source in Barkal said that the recovery operation of BGB on May 1, 2022 was pre-planned event. The source further said that such recovery operations by the BGB have been known from secret source for the last two months ago.
The source also claimed that the BGB have decision to conduct similar arranged arm recovery operations at any time in the future in the border area of Mizoram in India or in the vicinity of Barkal Sadar.
According to the source, such fabricated recovery operations are being conducted conspiratorially to harass and repress the people, and to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the area.
On the other hand, several local elders who did not want to be named said that BGB and Army field level officers stationed in the Chittagong Hill Tracts often carry out various operations including this one arm recovery operations for their promotion. In most cases such operations are pre-planned and arranged.
It is observed that in all these operations, either a small issue is exaggerated or magnified, or the whole issue is a drama arranged with a fabricated story.
It may be mentioned that BGB personnel searched the engine-driven boat at Karnafuli river check post near Bara Harina BOP camp on October 5, 2021. The BGB arrested six people of Pangkhua community who are the inhabitants of Barkal upazila with 30 rounds of ammunition, 10 empty shells of Point 22 bore, two pairs of Nepal (DMS) boots. Later, three more Pangkhua people were apprehended from Halamba area of Ward No. 9 under Barkal Union with home-made guns. Later, BGB members claimed that a joint operation of BGB and police had arrested 5 tribal terrorists with eight weapons, 20 rounds of fresh ammunition made in India.
A villager of the Pangkhua community who did not want to be named said that all the people mentioned in the Pangkhua community are traditional Jum cultivators and plantation farmers. They usually buy government-licensed SBBL guns to protect Jum and plantation crops from wild animals. They also use their own assault rifle, subject to the permission of the local camp which is a kind of open secret, he said.
He further said that apart from 3 licensed SBBL guns, there was no question of using 5 other locally made guns for terrorists except for preventing wild animals and birds from damage of farms. He also said that the 30 cartridges bought from Mizoram are usually used for hunting wild roosters.
It is to be noted that the claim of the army and BGB to rescue 29 mortar shells from Galengya area of Ruma upazila under Bandarban Hill District on 19 July 2021 was also alleged to be a fabricated drama. At that time, in a press release of the Bandarban Region Headquarters of the Army, Commander of Balipara BGB Zone under Bandarban Army Region is claimed that BGB and army personnel led by Lt. Col. Khandaker Muhammad Sharif-ul-Alam recovered 29 high-powered mortar shells from the remote Galengya area.
According to multiple local sources, the news of the recovery of mortar shells by Army and BGB members was a staged drama.
According to the source, the army actually got 99 mortar shells from Thanchi area from an armed group in Myanmar through a person named Weber Tripura, a local resident of Ruma. The mortar shells which the army received from an armed group in Myanmar were claimed and propagated to be rescued.