41 killed in rivalry attacks in CHT

At least 41 people were killed in last six months in three hill districts, including the murder of two Awami League (AL) leaders in the last one week.  At the same time, at least 65 people were injured due to regional political and other conflicts in three hill districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban. The above figures clearly indicate that once a peaceful region, especially after signing of the peace accord in 1997, the region gradually fell into rivalry increasing tensions and hence making the region a common ground for social and political killings.

Alamgir Shikdar, 45, AL vice president of Sarai union was hacked to death in Bandarban’s Lama upazila Tuesday night. Another AL leader Mong Pru Thoai, president of Tarasa union unit, was gunned down by some miscreants at Shamukjhuri in Roangchhari upazila Monday morning. 

On March 19, in Rangamathi Suresh Kanti Tanchonga,  Bilaichhari upazila AL president was shot dead by miscreants. At the same time armed group also carried out a major attack on government officials in Baghaichari of Rangamati for the first time since the CHT peace treaty signed in 1997.

Police and AL sources alleged that the armed wing of the Parbatto Chattogram Janoshonghati Samiti, PCJSS lead by Shantu Larma, Chairman of Chattogram Hill Tract Regional Council, is behind the recent attacks.  PCJSS and United People Democratic Front (UPDF), another faction fighting for supremacy in the region, allegedly carried out the attacks. M Islam Baby, Secretary of Bandarban district AL told Bangladesh Post, “Apart from killing two of our leaders, the arms cadres of PCJSS have also abducted two other AL leaders who have not yet been found.” “Due to their killings campaigns, extortion and abduction normal life in the hill districts is being seriously disrupted. No one can live here without donating to tribal groups mainly PCJSS,” he added. Jakir Hossain Mazumder, Police Super of Bandarban told this reporter that, for the last 8 month activists of PCJSS have been trying to create anarchy in the region deliberately. Meanwhile, rivalry for regional supremacy continued between PCJSS and UPDF until 2015, when a resolution was finally reached following a “secret meeting”. By this time, hundreds of activists had already been killed. 

Earlier, Khandokar Faruqe Hossain, Deputy Inspector General of police of Chottogram Range told Bangladesh Post, “Four parties in CHT of tribal communities, JSS(Santu), JSS(Larma), UPDF, UPDF(Democratic) allegedly maintain armed attacks in the CHT