Khagrachhari on edge: Quadruple murder triggers road blockades and market boycotts

STAFF REPORTER, KHAGRACHHARI

In a brutal incident that has shocked Khagrachhari, four individuals, including Bipul Chakma, the Organizational Secretary of the Democratic Youth Forum and former President of the PCP, were savagely murdered in Panchhari. This atrocity has drawn strong condemnation and protests from the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) Prasit Group and its affiliate organizations. In response, various actions including demonstrations, strikes, road blockades, and market boycotts have been declared.

Niranjan Chakma, head of the media wing of the UPDF Prasit Group, on Tuesday (12 December), released a joint statement. This statement included comments from Ravi Shankar Chakma, the Central General Secretary of UPDF, Jiko Tripura, the Central President of the Democratic Youth Forum, Kanika Dewan, the Central President of the Hill Women’s Federation, Niti Chakma, and Angkan Chakma, the Central President of the Hill Student Council, expressing their denunciation and protest.

The leaders labeled the murder as atrocious, shameful, and cowardly. They stated that the incident once again proved the absence of a free, fair, and peaceful election environment in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, due to the terror activities of armed groups.

Detailing the incident, they mentioned that on the previous day (Monday), Bipul Chakma (32), Sunil Tripura (28), Liton Chakma (29), and Rohin Bikash Tripura (49), along with seven other leaders and activists, were working in the Logang area to ensure the success of a youth conference scheduled for today.

During the night, while residing in a house in Anil Para village, an armed group of masked assailants from the Panchhari Sadar area arrived and systematically killed Bipul Chakma, Sunil Tripura, Liton Chakma, and Rohin Bikash Tripura.

Bipul Chakma was the son of Sunayan Chakma from Korlyachhari, Buddhudhan Para in Chengi Union’s 3rd Ward. Sunil Tripura hailed from Surendra Roaza Headman Para in Baranal Union of Matiranga Upazila, son of Sukhendu Bikash Tripura. Liton Chakma lived in Dronacharya Karbari Para in Bhaibonchhara Union of Khagrachhari Sadar Upazila, son of the late Chinta Muni Chakma. Rohin Bikash Tripura was from Upal Tachhari Union’s Padmini Para in Panchhari, son of Jonadhan Tripura.

Following the murders, the assailants abducted UPDF organizer Nitidatta Chakma, Harikomal Tripura, and member Prakash Tripura, who remain missing.

The leaders affirmed that such acts of violence cannot suppress the legitimate movement of the people. They emphasized that despite past assassinations of numerous leaders and activists, the UPDF remains undeterred in its cause.

They urged the public to build a mass resistance against these terrorists disrupting peace in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

The UPDF Prasit Group has announced a series of programs, including protest rallies and mourning meetings from December 13 to 15, hoisting of black flags at various locations, and a boycott of the Panchhari market from December 15, 2023, to January 15, 2024, with a possibility of extension. Additionally, a general strike in Panchhari Upazila is set for December 17, and a peaceful road blockade in Khagrachhari district is planned for December 18.

The leaders have appealed to people from all walks of life to actively participate in these programs to ensure their success.

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