The tribal people with political affiliations, particularly with the ruling party, often fall prey to attack, abduction and even murder by the armed cadres of regional political parties in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT).
There are continuous threats to the tribal leaders and activists affiliated with the ruling Awami League to leave politics.In recent times, a number of Awami League leaders and activists were kidnapped and later released after the bond that they won’t do AL politics.
Some upazila level tribal leaders of Awami League have already left the party in fear as they failed to withstand the bullies.
At present, four regional political parties – Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti or PCJSS or JSS (Santu Larma), PCJSS (MN Larma), United People’s Democratic Front or UPDF (Prasit Khisha) and UPDF (Democratic) – are active in the hills, running their political mayhem.
On May 22, Chothoai Mong Marma, an Awami League leader and former commissioner of Bandarban, was abducted from his own residence in Bandarban.
On May 19, a local Awami League leader Kyahla Ching Marma was shot dead by a group of armed terrorists at Naikhongchhora area in Rajasthali Upazila of Rangamati district.
Yumang Marma, chairman of Bangalhalia Union, also the general secretary of local Awami League unit, claimed that the activists of Parbatiya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samity or PCJSS were behind the incident.“During the last Union Parishad elections, he (Kyahla Ching Marma) was severely beaten by the PCJSS activists,” Yumang Marma added.
On May 18, Thawai Marma, 28, brother of Chai Ongya Marma, vice-president of Rajbila union unit Awami League, was shot dead at Rajbila union in Bandarban district.
These recent deaths have spread panic among locals, leaders and politicians living in the hill tract areas. The political atmosphere has suddenly become hot after the sudden assassination in the hills.
Leaders and activists of Awami League blamed the political groups active in the hills, especially Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti or PCJSS (Santu Larma), for these incidents.
They alleged that people out here associated with Awami League politics have become the main target.
This has become evident during the murder and attack that occurred in the last few days. Such political hostility was not noticed in CHT with other political parties other than the Awami League.
According to various sources, PCJSS led by Santu Larma tried to establish supremacy in the region, and he is in fear as more and more tribal people are getting involved with the mainstream political parties.
Sources said all the regional political parties are trying to unite to resolve their internal disputes.
Recently, during a programme, lawmaker Dipankar Talukdar said no problem will be solved with weapon.
The problem of hill is political, so it should be resolved politically, he added.
“After Awami League came to power in 1996, peace agreement was signed on December 2, 1997.” He went on to say after the signing of peace treaty, the Awami League government implemented the agreement, but JSS did not cooperate with the government to implement the treaty, and joined hands with the opponents of the agreement.
JSS not only joined hands with those that stood against the agreement but also is working to erase Awami League, said the lawmaker.
“JSS is killing the ruling party leaders and activists, so people in CHT refrain themselves from doing Awami League politics.”
Dipankar Talukdar also said they should remember that no problem has ever been resolved with weapons. So instead of weapons, they need to cooperate with the government.