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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bangladeshi tribal militants arrested

Bangladeshi tribal militants arrested
HT Correspondent
Agartala, November 02, 2010
First Published: 17:12 IST(2/11/2010)Last Updated: 17:16 IST(2/11/2010)


Two major warring factions representing Chakma tribe in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh have now chosen to cultivate hills of south Tripura as the conflict escalates. Eight activists of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samti (PCJSS), which ran disbanded Shatni Bahini (Peace Force) in two decade old insurgency against Bangladesh government forces to claim greater autonomy for CHT, landed in custody of Tripura police dragnet when they illegally entered to negotiate ransom for release of two kidnapped.

Security officials are reluctant to speak much about the detainees, but highly placed sources confirmed that the PCJSS cadres were apprehended when they were making effort to seek release of Bhubanjoy Chakma and Manuram Chakma - both elected representatives of village councils in Khagracharri district in CHT.

The stern rival of the PCJJS, United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) led by Prasit Khisa was blamed for lifting of the duo from Bangladesh and holding them to ransom in Baghaichari area under Rasyabari police station in Dhalai district.

The court of judicial magistrate of Kamalpur in Dhalai district sent eight Chakma infiltrators to custody for 11 days after rejecting the plea for police remand.

Police recovered six and half lakh Taka (around Rs 4 lakh) from Kishore Chakma, Bijay Chakma, Priya Singh Mog, Uddav Chakma, Dhanbikal Chakma, Debmoy Chakma, Subal Chakma and Kusum Chakma.

Dhalai district superintendent of police G.K. Rao told Hindustan Times that the detainees were Bangladeshi infiltrators and investigation is on to ascertain their motive. Rao gave no further details.

Sources said the UPDF cadres have gone into hiding with the kidnapped men after security forces launched search following the arrests. No arms or incriminating documents recovered from their possession.

On basis of secret information, the police arrested the infiltrators on their way to negotiate ransom from the relatives of the kidnapped men. The UPDF cadres reportedly demanded 15 lakh Taka for release of Bhubanjoy Chakma and Manuram Chakma.

PCJSS and UPDF militants have been engaged in regular skirmishes in three hill districts of Bangladesh and both killed scores of people, kidnapping many and destroying properties as the Chakmas, majority of 13 tribes in CHT, are divided in two camps.

The UPDF is opposed to the historic peace agreement that Bangladesh government signed with the PCJSS a decade ago alleging it as sell out of interests and rights of the indigenous people residing in CHT, their homeland.

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