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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Conflict makes CHT volatile

Courtesy: Daily Sun, Dhaka, back page, DHAKA | Saturday | 29 January 2011


Conflict makes CHT volatile

→ Our Correspondent

RANGAMATI: The common people in Chittagong Hill Tracts are panicked and remain hostage following a longstanding conflict among the three groups over establishment of their supremacy.

Meanwhile, some people have left home in fear of latest violent clashes between the activists of two rival groups over the conflicts that have left a number of people dead.

The activists of three groups — Parbattya Chatta¬gram Jana San¬ghati Samiti (PCJSS), United Peoples’ Demo¬cratic Front (UPDF) and the newly floated refor¬mist group — often commit killing and kidnapping and collect toll in the CHT areas, local alleged.

A total of 11 gunfights have occurred while 14 attacks and 16 kidnappings have taken place during the last year. At least 25 people, including activists of the groups, have been killed and 26 others injured in the incidents.

The incidents of toll collection from irrespective of caste, creed and classes have also occurred during the period.

The unruly activities and crimes of the organisations have recently made the CHT areas unstable, leading to deterioration of law and order in the areas.

The leaders of the three groups are found ruling out their involvement in the incidents.

Local people alleged that such types of the incidents are taking place after with-drawal of security camps from the areas.

A seven-hour violent gun-fight between the activists of PCJSS and that of UPDF took place in a hard-to-reach area under Dighinala upazila of Khagrachhari district on Wednesday, creating panic among the people.

On January 21, at least eight PCJSS activists were gunned down and 15 others injured by the UPDF men in separate incidents in Zurach-hari and Kaptai upazilas of the district.

Officials confirmed killings of six PCJSS activists, but the UPDF denied the allegation.

At least three UPDF men were shot dead and two others wounded in two gunfights in Zurachhari and Razasthali upazilas on May 15 this year.

A panic situation gripped with the violence-hit areas of the CHT despite the latest visit of the high military and civil officials to those areas.

The businessmen in the hilly areas have become bewildered for the unabated toll collection by the regional parties from them, said president of Rangamati Chamber and Commerce and Industries.

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