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6 JSS members killed in Bandarban turf war

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bandorAt least six members of Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma) were shot to death at Baghmara of Bandarban Sadar upazila on Tuesday morning.

Among the dead, three were identified as Ratan Tanchangya, Bandarban unit president, David Marma, a member of the executive committee and Bimol Kanti Chakma, vice president of the central committee.

The remaining persons were identified as Robin Chakma, Ripon Tripura and Gyan Tripura, all members of Jubo Samiti, front organisation of Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma).

Sources said members of the Jana Samhati Samiti (MN Larma) group were holding a meeting at Ratan Tanchangya’s house when a rival group ambushed the house from all sides and sprayed bullets indiscriminately. Six persons died on the spot while two other members, Biddut Chakma and Niru Chakma, received bullet injuries.

Bandarban Superintendent of Police Zerin Akhtar said police are working to arrest the culprits responsible for this killings.

Meanwhile, the Jana Samhati Samiti ( MN Larma) group blamed Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS- Santu Larma) group, for the brutal killings.

A press release, signed by Shudhakar Tripura, Information and Publicity Secretary of Jana Samhati Samiti ( MN Larma) group, was issued in this regard.

In the last 22 years more than six hundred people have been killed in turf wars among the regional political parties based in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Besides, numerous abductions and assaults have also taken place during the period.

Four organizations are allegedly involved in most of these clashes: Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma), United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) and UPDF (Ganatantrik).

When a member of one group is attacked, shortly afterward another group carries out an attack in retaliation. However, none of the groups has ever claimed responsibility for any killings.

Murders followed by murders

According to political party sources, since the inception of UPDF in 1998, 312 of their leaders and activists have been killed till June this year.

Since the peace accord was signed in 1997 between the government and the Shanti Bahini led by PCJSS chief, Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, to end the decades-long insurgency and violence in the CHT, more than 200 of their men have been killed.

The Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma) lost 85 of its people, with the latest incident of violence being at Baghmara yesterday.

The UPDF (Ganatantrik), created in 2017, has seen 10 of its men lose their lives so far.

The PCJSS, formed in 1972, saw a faction break away as the UPDF, in 1998. The PCJSS in 2010 saw another faction, PCJSS (MN Larma), break away. The main PCJSS is currently led by Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, also known as Shantu Larma.

Interestingly, all the regional parties reached a compromise in 2015, with the result that killings almost came to an end.

But when a group split from the UPDF in November 2017, calling itself UPDF (Democratic) and led by former UPDF leader,Tapan Jyoti Chakma, the hills began to become violent again.