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Army kicks off anti-graft drive in CHT

Our Correspondent, Bandarban

Bangladesh army launched a new military operation titled “Alor Sondhane” (in search of light) with a view to curb corruption in Chittagong Hill Tracts.Earlier, the military conducted two other operations in the area titled “Operation Dabanol” (forest fire), and “Operation Uttaron” (rise).

Senior military officials claimed operation Alor Sondhane would place more emphasis on making the society corruption free than conducting military activities.

Brig Gen Ziaul Hasan of Bandarban region revealed the objectives of the new operation at a views exchange meeting with reporters.

He said many hurdles had to be overcome and the time is right to come out of the darkness and build new social infrastructure.

He said under the banner of GO-NGO development initiatives several thousand crore taka have been spent but hardly any socio-economic development was achieved. Criminal activities could not be uprooted for this, he added.

The regional commander said the government has waged a war against the corrupt people. In this regard, operation Alor Sondhan has completed investigation into various irregularities. Those found guilty would be brought to justice immediately, he added.

He said a number of documents have been seized from different government institutions including the Chittagong Hill Tracts Zila Parishad, Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED), forestry department and hospitals.

He said during the last 12 months from July, 2006 to June this year, 1.50 lakh cubic feet of wood has been seized at different parts of Bandarban. Only in Naikhangchhari upazila, over 99,000 cubic feet of wood was seized.

He ruled out the possibility of deterioration of law and order situation, as the operation aimed at curbing corruption would also form a social resistance committee to eliminate “terrorism”.

Citing Ali Kadam upazila as an example, where locals built their own security system with security forces’ approval, he said, “It is not possible to absolutely uproot criminal activities without the participation of locals and that is why we are thinking about giving Gada Bonduk [primitive firearms] to them.

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