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Anti-KNF battle mounts

Published : 06 Apr 2024 11:18 PM

With a hope of restoring peace and order in the Chattogram region, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said strict action would be taken against those responsible for breaching the law and disrupting the peace in the area.

“Our security forces won’t sit back. We are taking a strict stand against the terror activities. None is allowed to breach law and order,” he said while replying to the queries of the newsmen after visiting Ansar Barracks, Sonali Bank and Ruma Upazila Mosque in Bandarban on Saturday.

“We will not let anything go unchallenged. We will find out who did this and who are linked with them,” Kamal said, adding that the culprits would be brought to light very soon.

Security forces and law enforcement agencies have launched a joint drive against the armed group, Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) in Bandarban following a string of robberies, abduction and attacks on check-posts in the district.

On Tuesday, armed robbers attacked the Ruma branch of Sonali Bank and kidnapped Sonali Bank’s Ruma branch manager Nizam Uddin on the same night. 

Within 16 hours of the first robbery, Thanchi branches of Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank came under attack. The robbers looted around Tk 17.5 lakh from the banks. 

The manager was released by the armed group after their demand for a ransom of Tk 15 lakh was met.

Law enforcement agencies say the attack and the three bank robberies were carried out by the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF).

During his visit to the area, the Home Minister inspected the Sonali Bank branch, mosque, and upazila parishad. 

He personally reviewed the bank’s security system and obtained firsthand details of the incident while  issuing directives for future actions.

The minister was accompanied by a delegation of 20 members, including the chief of Police, BGB, Ansar, and DGFI. Local members of parliament were also present.

Following his visit, the Home Minister convened a meeting with government officials at the Bandarban Circuit House. 

He provided guidance on alleviating concerns in the mountainous region and outlined future strategies.

Meanwhile, Road Transport and Bridges minister Obaidul Quader said a joint operation is being conducted in Hill Tracts to bring everything under control.

“Joint operations are going on in Bandarban’s hilly areas in a bid to restore peace and order. And everything will come under control soon,” he told reporters at a briefing at Bangladesh Secretariat on Saturday.  

Replying to a question, Quader said he does not believe that the armed group Kuki-Chin is getting backing from outside the border.

Asked whether there was any intelligence failure, he replied that investigation is going on and everything will be unveiled once it is completed.

Quader said that the operations follow sporadic disturbances in the area, with the government taking a firm stance against turmoil.

He elaborated on the complexities near the Myanmar border, specifically mentioning the state of Chin, where the KNF allegedly has a base.

“Authorities are meticulously investigating the KNF’s rebel activities, with law enforcement engaged in concerted efforts to maintain stability,” he stated.