Bangladesh Army along with Border Guard Bangladesh has reinforced their drive against ‘terrorists’ in remote hills in Khagrachari and Rangamati following a ‘gunfight’ that killed five ethnic minority people on Saturday, officials said. ‘We also remain alert following Saturday’s incident and it’s a kind of regular operation but now reinforced,’ said a senior official involved in the operation.
Another official said that the operation began on August 14 and it was reinforced for the hunt of a dozen ‘armed terrorists’ who might have fled during the hour-long ‘gunfight’ with army at remote Baradam village of Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati on Saturday morning.
Border Guard Bangladesh deputy director general (operations and training) Khandaker Farid Hassan refrained from commenting on the operation.
Army officials in hills were unwilling to comment on the ongoing operation while the Inter Services Public Relations officials had no update.
The deceased – Rupayan Chakma, 24, Jackson Chakma, 26, Kathumoni Chakma, 26, Kanti Marma, 28, and Babul Chakma, 20, – were in combat uniform and were identified by the police and locals.
The bodies were handed over to the families after post-mortem examination on Sunday.
The families, however, identified the deceased as Kiron Chakma, 30, of Baghaichari upazila, who was identified on Saturday as Rupayan by an identity card found in his pocket, Babul Chakma, 26, of Baghaihat, and Tutumoni Tripura, 33, of Mahalchari, earlier identified as Tathumoni Chakma, Khokon Tripura, 18, of Guimara upazila, earlier identified as Kanti Marma, and Rubel Chakma, 16, of Nannerchar, earlier identified as Jackson Chakma, 26.
The families said that the victims had either left them or gone into hiding.
All the deceased were in Bangladesh army combat uniform, the police said.
An Inter Services Public Relations release on Saturday branded them as ‘armed terrorists’ and said that the army team also detained three of the gang and l seized a machinegun, a pistol and a submachine gun, two
Chinese rifles, three self-loading rifles, huge ammunition and uniforms used by the gang.
The police said that of the deceased were members of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (MN Larma), which had split away from the hill tracts-based regional party, led by Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, popularly known as Santu Larma.
PCJSS (MN Larma), however, denied that the deceased were their members claiming that their party had no armed members.
Baghaichari police filed two cases against unidentified ‘terrorists’ for the ‘gunfight’ and using arms.
‘We are also investigating the sources of arms and ammunition,’ said the Baghaichari police officer-in-charge Zahir Hossain.
The police on Sunday conducted a search in the area to see whether any arms left abandoned following Saturday’s operation.
-With New Age input