Harassment, extortion, kidnapping in Ruma by army-AL-backed ALP

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Hill Voice, 12 September 2020, Bandarban: It has been alleged that the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), backed by the army and local leadership of the ruling Awami League, continues atrocities including harassment and beating up of local Jumma villagers at gunpoint, extortion from traders, abduction and collection of ransom etc. unabatedly in Ruma upazila of Bandarban district.

According to local sources, two labourers of the timber traders, Sufia Saudagar and Kalam Saudagar were abducted by armed terrorists on 10 September 2020 Thursday from Krau Para area of ​​Sadar Union in Ruma Upazila while 15 labourers came there for work.

During this time, the foreign armed terrorist group, ALP members have beaten all the Jumma-Bengali labourers and at one stage abducted two labourers named Nizam and Jahangir. After three hours of detention, they released the two traders after Sufia Saudagar paid Tk. 30,000 immediately and promised to pay the rest money next Thursday.

It is also learnt that several days ago, ALP terrorists had been demanding Tk. 120,000 from Sufia Saudagar and Tk. 200,000 from Kalam Saudagar. When they refused to pay, they abducted the said two labourers of Sufia traders. After abducting them, they are also threatening Kalam Saudagar. The reliable sources said that Kalam Saudagar will also give their demanded money next Thursday.

Army-AL-backed ALP members, on the other hand, continue to harass local Jumma villagers in various ways. They take chickens, pigs and vegetables from the villagers at gunpoint without paying price or paying a nominal price. The ALP miscreants forced the local Jumma villagers to supply home-made wine. In some cases, it has been alleged that they try to sexual harass  young women in the village.

The local villagers complained that the ALP armed members were carrying out these misdeeds freely under the auspices of the local army camps and the leaders and workers of the local Awami League. No one dares to protest against these misdeeds of the ALP for fear of arms and lives.

Last year, ALP members carried out killings, abductions, ransoms and extortions in Rajsthali and Kaptai upazilas of Rangamati district and Bandarban Sadar and Rowangchhari upazilas of Bandarban district with the support of the army and the local Awami League, said a local Karbari (village head) who did not want to be named. But in the face of resistance from locals, ALP members were forced to leave the area.

The killing of headman of Ruma’s Paindu Mouza Manchu Marma’s son on April 3, the abduction of Kachanu Marma alias Thuinumong and Anthuiching Marma from Paindu Union on April 30, and the abduction of Rizuk Karbari Prusanu Marma on May 8 by ALP are the latest incident in Ruma.

The said village head added that one of the other sources of income for the ALP is the opium and yaba business worth multi-crore takas. It is learnt that they bring opium and yaba from Myanmar and sell it to the drug syndicate of Bangladesh through local agents.

Although the main leadership of the ALP has entered the peace process with the Myanmar government, this faction of the ALP formed with ousted members has stationed in the border area of ​​Bandarban district due to its business of multi-crore takas in drugs and extortion, and continue its multi-crore trade.

They have no connection with the Rakhine people of Arakan. They cannot even enter the Rakhine state for fear of attack by the Myanmar army, the main ALP and the rebel Arakan Army. On the contrary, under the auspices and support of the Bangladesh army and the ruling local Awami League, the drug trade, extortion and terrorist activities are being carried out by this faction of ALP in Bandarban.

Although their activities have not been seen for the past few months, they have recently become active again in Ruma Upazila allegedly under the auspices of the army and the local Awami League. Currently, local Jumma residents in Ruma are living in extreme anxiety, panic and insecurity as a result of the ALP’s persecution.

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