Anti-militancy drive in CHT: KNF’s Nathan Bawm among 68 sued

DESK REPORT

The Rapid Action Battalion, or RAB, has filed a case against 68 people, including Kuki-Chin National Front, or KNF, chief Nathan Bawm, with the Bilaichhari Police Station in Rangamati.

The RAB arrested three members of the armed separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) and seven members of the new militant group Jamaat-ul-Ansar Fil Hindil Sharqiya during a coordinated anti-terrorism operation in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT).

Jamaat-ul- Ansar Ameer Anisur Rahman alias Mahmud, has also been named in the case that the RAB filed with Rangamati’s Bilaichhari Police Station on Friday (October 22).

After the operation, RAB spokesman Commander Khandaker Al Moin told a press conference at Bandarban Zila Parishad auditorium on Friday that more than 50 militants from different parts of the country were being trained in multiple KNF training camps in remote areas of Bandarban and Rangamati. Those militants are members of the new militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Ansar Fil Hindil Sharqiya.

On Thursday night, RAB-7 and RAB-15 raided Saijam Para of Bilaichhari in Rangamati and the nearby Rowangchhari Bazar area in Bandarban. The raids were led by the detective branch of RAB headquarters.

Seven members of Jamaat-ul-Ansar fil Hindil Sharqiya and three members of KNF were arrested from there, he said. Nine SBBL guns, 50 bullets, 62 cartridge casings, six bombs (improvised explosive devices, or IED), a country-made pistol, a walkie-talkie, and 10 maps with the proposed Kuki-Chin state written on them were recovered.

According to the case statement, Jamaat-ul-Ansar Fil Hindil Sharqiya signed a three-year agreement with KNF in 2021 to provide armed training to militants who had left their homes in different parts of the country in the name of “Hijrat”. In exchange for a large amount of money, as per the agreement, the KNF was providing them with training and shelter.

The Ameer of Jamaat-ul-Ansar Fil Hindil Sharqiya Anisur Rahman and six members of the Sura have been made accused in the case. The members of the Shurah are Maruf Hossain, Mosharraf Hossain, Abdullah Maymun, Masukur Rahman, and Shamim Mahfuz Bholar Shaykh alias Dadu Bhai. Among them, Shurah member Shamim Mahfuz was arrested by the BGB in 2011 with a huge amount of explosives. A case was registered against him at Thanchi police station under the Anti-Terrorism and Explosives Act.

Apart from the head of the KNF, seven other people have important posts in the separatist organisation have been made accused in the case. They are the Chief of Staff and Vice President of KNF Bhang Chung Lian, Spokesperson Muia alias Wills, Lalmun Thiala alias Colonel Solomon of the law and public relations branch, Bamlun Sang alias Lyon of the medical branch, Pa Ming of the foreign liaison branch, Major Larbam Mui alias Jampui of the logistics branch, and Lal Sang of logistics (arms and uniform).

According to RAB, some members of Harkat-ul-Jihad, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), and Ansar-al-Islam together started their extremist activities in 2017. Since 2019, they have started their activities under the name Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindil Sharqiya. Amir Md. The extremist organisation Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindil Sharqiya is being led by its ameer Anisur Rahman alias Mahmud.

Eight college students went missing in Comilla on August 23. When one of them returned a few days later, the matter of these eight people leaving the house in the name of the so-called ‘hijrat’ and their being involved in militancy came to light.

A few days later, the Imam of the Quba Mosque in Comilla city, Shah Md. Habibullah, went into hiding. On October 5, RAB arrested seven people from different districts, including the capital. Among them were four people who had gone missing, including two from Comilla.

The other three are militant organisers and shelter-providers. Five others were arrested on October 9. The next day, at a press conference on October 10, the RAB released a list of 38 people who had gone missing from different districts of the country and said that anti-militancy operations had been carried out in the hill tracts.

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