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UPDF members shot at, 3 arrested by army

News No. 84/2008, May 15, 2008

An activist of the United People’s Democratic Front was seriously wounded when army personnel opened brushfire on a group of people in Laxmichari on 4 May. The soldiers arrested 3 UPDF members including the injured one after the firing.

UPDF’s Aungchaching Marma in Laxmichari said the army personnel led by Dullyatoli camp commander Warrant Officer Anwar shot at them without slightest provocation and added that “the UPDF members were on their way to visit Dewanpara Buddhist temple.”

Kyalaching Marma aged 22 s/o Chudu Aung Marma of village Shilchari under Barmachari, was hit by bullet. He is now undergoing medical treatment in army custody.

The other two UPDF members arrested have been identified as Nitu Chakma aged 22 (s/o Lakshmidhan Chakma, village Gorgojjyachari, Khagrachari) and Chaila Prue Marma aged 32 (s/o Kongchai Karbari, village North Sapchari, UP: Hafchari, Ramgarh Thana).

The army took them to Laxmichari zone and beat up severely. The following day, that is, on 5 May, the zone authority called in police and handed the UPDF members over to them.

The police filed a case against the arrested UPDF members under sections 144/353/385 of Bangladesh Penal Code (case No. 1, 05/05/08) and sent them to Khagrachari district jail.

In the First Information Report, Mojibar Rahman, Sub Inspector of Laxmichari police station, stated that he had taken charge of the two UPDF members – Nitu and Chaila – from Warrant Officer Habibur Rahman at 16:50 on 5 May 2008.

Quoting a report on the incident prepared by Captain Mahmudul Hasan of 30 Field Regiment Artillery, the police SI further said: “on 4 May, at around 1500, the UPDF members had assembled at Dewanpara temple area with the objective of collecting money from market-bound people. When a patrol team led by Anwar Hossain from Dullyatoli army camp under Laxmichari zone reached the area the terrorists split themselves into two groups, with one group, three in number, taking position on a hill top. When they were about to shoot at the patrol team, the soldiers got the better of them. Kyalaching Marma was hit in the left leg.”

Aungchaching Marma told chtnews.com that at least 30 UPDF members have been arrested since the declaration of the state of emergency on 11 January 2007.

He said the arrested UPDF members were neither armed nor engaged in any illegal activity. “Every party has the right to raise funds for its programmes” he said adding “UPDF does not use force while collecting funds from the people”.

He said the military were trying hard to project UPDF as a terrorist organisation, “but it will fail.”

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 right to self-determination. For further information please contact at: chtnewsonline@gmail.com

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