Intensive military patrolling underway in the measles affected Sajek area

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Hill Voice, 11 April 2020, Rangamati:  The military forces have strengthened the patrolling and searching of villages in the remote villages of Ruilui, Old Lankar, Balu Karbari Adam, Duluchari Para, Kanglak Para, Joleye Para under Sajek Union in Baghaichari upazila of Rangamati Hill district. Due to the ongoing lockdown in the fight against the coronavirus, food crisis of the villagers of Sajek is going on. On the other hand, from the end of February, the procession of death of the measles affected children is underway. During this crisis such a military patrolling and search operation created extreme terror and anxiety among the indigenous Jumma peoples in Sajek union.

According to the local villagers, on 7 April 2020 at morning three jeeps and two trucks with a group of 40 military personnel reached in the Ruilui BGB BOP and tourist centers of Sajek union. On that day around 3pm, the military personnel left the Ruilui camp for New Lankar BGB camp. At night, a group of 15 military personnel, headed by Habildar Monir, left the New Lunker camp to patrol at the Jum Rannya house of Nir Chakma and stayed there at night On the morning of March 8, the military left Jum Rannya house and patrolled at Khagrachari village at afternoon. Later, they again returned to Jum Rania house.

On the other, on March 8, another group of 25 military personnel went to the Old Lankar camp and stayed there. On the same day, a group of about 20 military personnel from Ruilui camp patrolled at Balu Karbari Para, Duluchhari Para, Kanglak Para and Jum Rannya and then returned to Kanglak Para and stayed the night there.

Sources said that, on 9 March at around 9/10am a group of 20 military personnel along with BGB led by a Captain from Old Lankar camp patrolled Joleye Para. During the patrolling time, the military personnel ordered the villagers to say that BGB has patrolled the area, not the military personnel if someone asked. On the same day, another group of 20 military personnel from Ruilui camp patrolled at Balu Karbari Para at the same time.

On 10 April, the group of military personnel who were staying at Ruilui BGB camp patrolled the Balu Karbari Para again and returned to the camp.

Local villagers said that, though the military personnel started patrolling those areas, they did not arrest and harass anyone or search anyone houses.

Local indigenous leaders claimed that the law and security forces with the help of the local leadership of the ruling party and its allies, with direct involvement of the communal groups including the militant group, have been conducting military operation in the remote areas resulting in searching houses, sending illegal arrests and imprisonment, inhumane torture and torture of persons in camps.

As part of that, filling a series of lawsuits cases, labeling the PCJSS activist and supporters of CHT Accord and indigenous leaders as terrorists, extortionists and arbitrary arrest, arresting after getting out from jail on bail, entangling in another fabricated cases is being continued by the military personnel and local administration.

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