Friday, February 21, 2020 | ePaper

Don't let to make the CHT unstable

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THREE people were killed in a gunfight with an army patrol team in Dighinala Upazila of Khagrachhari on Monday. In a press release, Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) said the gunfight broke out after the team reached Boradam on information that seven to eight armed criminals of the UPDF (Prasit Group) had gathered there.
Sensing the presence of the army personnel, the criminals opened fire on them, prompting the patrol team to fire back. The gunfight continued for 10 to 15 minutes. It left three criminals of the UPDF (Prasit Group) dead. Meanwhile, the UPDF in a press release said the three deceased were Nabin Jyoti Chakma, 38, Bhujendra Chakma, 50, and Ruchil Chakma alias Russel, 26 --- all members of the organisation.
Supporters of UPDF (Prasit), UPDF (Democratic) and PCJSS (MN Larma) groups frequently get locked in clashes over establishing supremacy in the area. Different regional political groups in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are 'engaged' in various criminal activities, including killing and abduction, ahead of the National Polls.
Four regional political parties - Jana Sanghati Samiti (JSS-Santu), Jana Sanghati Samiti (JSS-MN Larma), United People's Democratic Front (UPDF-Prasit) and United People's Democratic Front (UPDF-Democratic) - are involved in a series of killings to establish supremacy in the area. Local people alleged that activists of the parties are also behind the enforced disappearances, kidnappings, violent clashes and other crimes in CHT.
However, they not only target their rival regional parties but also the mainstream political parties, including Awami League. In the last few years, many politicians of Awami League or other mainstream political parties in the hill districts were allegedly abducted or killed by the regional political parties. Locals said different armed groups have started their activities in CHT area again.
We recently heard some news of attacks on army patrol team in hilly region. Its main reason may be that -- different criminal groups are allegedly trying to use CHT as their safe haven. The authorities must be aware of these irritations that have been done intentionally in a bid to provoking the security personnel.

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