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Panic envelops Bandarban after turf war leaves 6 killed

  • Published at 03:36 pm July 8th, 2020
web-Bandarban map
Map of Bandarban Dhaka Tribune

Police have handed over the body of one deceased to family

Local residents are living in a state of fear a day after six people were shot dead in a violent turf war in Bandarban, amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has already forced people to stay indoors.

With investigations underway, police have said that they were doing everything to bring the killers to book.

Police on Wednesday handed over the bodies of the six members of Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma) murdered in Sadar upazila's Baghmara area on Tuesday.

The bodies were handed over to their family members after autopsies were conducted at Bandarban Sadar Hospital around 5:30 pm, according to hospital sources.

According to local sources, six members of the Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma) group, including Ratan, were shot dead by a rival group at 7am on Tuesday. Three other members were injured during the shooting and taken to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

Michi Marma, a member of Noapatang Union No 6 in the district, said people in the area were in shock and panic. The whole area had fallen into a state of eerie silence.

The joint forces conducted an operation in the area but could not arrest anyone involved in the murder. 

A case has been filed against 20 people with Bandarban Sadar police station in this regard, said Shahidul Islam, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Bandarban Sadar police station. "A case has been filed in connection with the murder. The joint forces are working to catch the culprits."

In the last 22 years more than six hundred people have been killed in turf wars among the regional political parties based in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Besides, numerous abductions and assaults have also taken place during the period.

Four organizations are allegedly involved in most of these clashes: Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma), United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) and UPDF (Ganatantrik).

When a member of one group is attacked, shortly afterward another group carries out an attack in retaliation. However, none of the groups has ever claimed responsibility for any killings.

On February 22, Bandarban Sadar’s Jamchhari ward Awami League president Bachnu Marma was shot dead in the area and five people from the neighbourhood were seriously injured.

On April 17, Mong Sign Marma of the Mugh Party was shot dead in Kenaiju Para of Roangchhari upazila. On June 15, a man from Kuhalong Union in Bandarban was also shot dead.

An Awami League activist named Lul Thang Bom was abducted on June 2 and Gungla Tripura was abducted on July 5 on his way back home in Kuhalang Union.

In this regard, district Awami League General Secretary Islam Baby said the recent killings had created panic in the district and the government should take a tough stand against the armed terrorists.

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