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Bengalees go into hiding fearing torture by Sharif

News No. 146/2009,
October 9, 2009

Four Bengalee people have gone into hiding fearing torture by Lt. Col. Shariful Islam, commander of Laxmichari Zone in Khagrachari.

One of his torture victims, Md. Al Amin Hossain (23), commented, “I have seen many army officers, but I have not seen one as ruthless and as communal as Sharif is.”

Both Al Amin and his father Abul Kashem were tortured by of Lt. Col. Sharif for allegedly providing support to the UPDF. They have now gone into hiding fearing further torture and arrest.

A resident of Shilachari Para, Al Amin ekes out a living by ferrying passengers on his motorbike for a charge, while his father is a shopkeeper in Laxmichari bazaar.

Bengalee sources in Laxmichari told chtnews.com, on 9 September, Al Amin had ferried a UPDF member from Laxmichari to Khagrachari.

When he was returning from Khagrachari the following day, 10 September, he was halted by Lt. Col. Sharif at Kalapani camp at Guimara.

He was accused of helping the UPDF activist and tortured badly. The so-called CHTNF terrorists comprising both misguided Bengalee and Jumma youths also took part in the beating.

By the night he was taken to a jungle and was buried alive up to his neck.

The next morning Al Amin was taken to Manikchari army camp and was interrogated further.

He was asked the same question again and again: Why he had gone to help UPDF activists?

After he had been released, he sold his motorbike and went into hiding, fearing further torture.

When Sharif knew about this, he put pressure on his father to bring him back and hand him over to him.

Bengalees told chtnews.com that on 25 September, Al Amin’s father, Md. Abul Kashem, was tortured along with other four Jumma villagers for their alleged support to the UPDF.

Abul Kashem also went into hiding after being released.

The other two Bengalees went into hiding, according to sources, are Sohag of village Moshkaba and Jaminul of a cluster village.

However, the reasons why they went into hiding could not be known. Jaminul was an army informer, according to the sources.

chtnews.com is an independent and voluntary online news service dedicated to projecting and analyzing the current events in the Chittagong Hill Tracts from the perspective of the Jumma people’s struggle for the right to self-determination. For further information please contact at: chtnewsonline@gmail.com

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