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Bangali groups observe hartal in Rangamati, Khagrachhari

  • Published at 07:04 pm April 19th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:17 pm April 19th, 2017
Bangali groups observe hartal in Rangamati, Khagrachhari
Two platforms of Bangali people linked to different political parties in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region observed dawn-to-dusk hartal in Rangamati and Khagrachhari districtson Wednesday to protest the murder of a Bangali man. The victim, Sadikul, a for-hire motorcycle driver from Mohalchhari in Khagrachhari, was abducted on April 10. His body was found buried at Rangamati’s Naniarchar three days later. The platforms, Parbatya Bangali Chhatra Parishad and Parbatya Nagarik Parishad, blamed United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF), a political party of the indigenous people in the CHT, for Sadikul’s murder. Chhatra Parishad’s Rangamati unit General Secretary Md Jahangir Alam claimed that Sadikul was a member of their Mohalchhari upazila unit committee. Police have arrested one of the two persons accused in a case filed by the victim’s brother on April 14. The detainee, Poltu Chakma, has been placed on a three-day remand. Poltu is a resident of Naniarchar area. According to the case, Poltu and another youth hired Sadikul from Mohalchhari and went to Naniarchar on the day Sadikul was abducted. Naniarchar police Sub-Inspector Shahjahan, who is investigating the murder, believes that Poltu has no political affiliation, but he could be a supporter of the UPDF. “We are not ruling out the possibility of a past enmity behind the murder.” Criminals usually abduct businessmen and release them after receiving a ransom, the sub-inspector said. “But this case is different. The criminals killed Sadikul without demanding money from his family,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. Supporters of the Bangali groups were seen parading the streets of Rangamati and Khagrachhari towns to enforce the general strike, our district correspondents reported. Buses and launch services were suspended due to the shutdown. Rangamati Kotwali police OC Abdur Rashid said the hartal had been peaceful. “We have deployed additional police at the important points of the town to avert untoward incidents,” the OC added. Chhatra Parishad’s Jahangir said they enforced the hartal since police had failed to arrest the main culprits behind the murder. “We urge the government to ban the regional groups that are involved in abduction, murder and extortion, and are trying to gain autonomy in the CHT,” he claimed. UPDF Coordinator Michael Chakma has refuted the allegations. “A certain quarter is using Parbatya Bangali Chhatra Parishad to spread hatred against the adivasi groups and the communities in general. They are saying things they have been taught to say,” Michael said.
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