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Massive military operation in Rangamati

Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
NEWS No. 50/2007, November 05, 2007

A massive coordinated military operation is now underway in a large swathe of areas in Baghaichari, Longudu, Naniachar, Barkal and Jurachari under Rangamati district involving four thousand army personnel and members of para-military Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).

Launched on 2 November 2007, the operation is the largest since the end of the JSS-led armed rebellion in 1997.

Army personnel from Baghaichari zone, Longudu zone, Mahalchari zone and Rangamati zone are taking part in the operation. One source said even troops from Chittagong cantonment in the plain district have been called in to assist the local armed forces.

Although it is aimed at “nabbing terrorists”, the army operation will have a huge impact on the new voter list, which is being prepared in the three hill districts.

An all pervading sense of fear is prevailing among the people in those areas. As the army has been involved in the process of enlisting voters, many and particularly the eligible Jumma youths will be afraid of being registered in the presence of the army personnel.

When contacted, a Jumma teacher said on condition of anonymity that the soldiers are carrying out raids, conducting house-to-house searches and checking and re-checking boats and launches which ply on the Kaptai Lake.

However, there has been no report of arrests so far. Gathering information from these remote areas is very difficult.

Human rights become the fist casualty of such army activities.

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Hill Watch Human Rights Forum provides accurate, objective and reliable information on human rights abuses in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. For further details contact: hwhrf_99@yahoo.com or hwhrf.cht@gmail.com



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