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FRATRICIDAL CLASH IN HILLS, UPDF-Gonotantrik chief with 3 aides killed in terrorists’ brush fire

CHT JOURNAL DESK, May-04: At least five were gunned down including chief of United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF-Gonotantrik) Tapan Jyoti Chakma alias Borma and eight other were wounded when a gang of unknown armed criminals opened fire targeting a microbus carrying them from Khagrachhari to Rangamati Bogachhari in Naniachar upazila on Friday morning.

Quoting locals, Rangamati additional police super Jahangir Alam said Tapan Jyoti along with his aides were coming to Naniachar by a microbus from Khagrachari district town to join in a cremation programme of Naniachar upazila parishad chairman advocate Shaktiman Chakma and they came under attack when they reached at Hengelchhai area in Sabekkhong union of Naniachar at around 11:00am. As the driver of the microbus received bullets their vehicle went turn turtle on the road side of Rangamati-Khagrachhari road, said Jahangir.

A gang of armed assailants who ambushed and waylaid the vehicle of Tapan Jyoti sprayed bullets from the roadside jungle and fled away in the deep forests, said the additional SP.

Body of Tapan Jyoti riddled with numerous bullets with his two aides Sujan Chakma and Tanak Chakma alias Tuzim were dead on the spot while another aide Setu Lal Chakma and driver of the microbus Md. Sajib were succumbed to their wounds after rushed to the Khagrachhari sadar hospital on the day. Complete identities of the deceased could not be known immediately, added the additional SP.

Rangamati superintendent of police Md. Alamgir Kabir confirmed the incident. The motive behind the killing could not be known immediately, the SP added.

Earlier, Tapan Jyoti was a leader of UPDF and he has left it and newly formed Gonotantrik-UPDF about couple of months back. He was in a killing mission against the mainstream UPDF and he killed at least half a dozen of its leaders and activists by his armed cadres over the past couple of months in Khagrachhari and Rangamati, sources of intelligent agencies said.

All the dead bodies were sent to Khagrachhari Adhunik Hospital for postmortem on the day and later it was handed over to its relatives for cremation, Naniachar police station officer in-charge Md. Abdul Latif said.

Earlier on Thursday, an armed gang waylaid the motorbike which carrying the Naniachar upazila chairman advocate Shaktiman and opened fire on him, killing him on the spot. His dead body was cremated at his parent home at Bogachhari in Naniachar on Friday morning.

Additional police and army were on the spot in Naniachar after the latest killing incident in hills.

No one claimed the responsibility of the killing incident till the filing of this report as of yesterday (Friday) at 6:00pm.

Rangamati district unit general secretary of Awami League Musa Matabber said there is an internal conflict among the four regional political parties in hills. They all are trying to establish dominant and supremacy in the areas for collecting tolls from people. No one common people are safe to them because of illegal arms. Killing, abduction and extortion are rampant in hilly region due to use of illegal arms. So, we every time are demanding to the government to recover illegal weapons from the armed groups in hills. The main reason of disquiet in hills is illegal weapons. If the illegal arms once are recovered then no one will kill here, said Musa.

President of Rangamati district unit BNP, Md. Shah Alam, said internal feud among regional political parties is behind all of these killings, kidnapping and extortion in hills. We never expect such heinous acts and it must be stopped immediately, added Alam.

President of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, CHT chapter, Prakriti Ranjan Chakma, also blamed internal conflict among the regional political parties for such a killing spree.

Goutam Dewan, president of CHT Nagorik Committee (a committee for concerned citizens), said it’s an endless killing spree amongst the conflicting regional groups. Politics must be in it right tack not in such a way of killing each other. It will never bring good result and we would not let it continue any longer. We, the common people must think about the issue deeply for restoring peace in hills, adds Goutam. (chtj-des/report).