UPDF attacks Bengalis in Matiranga

MATIRANGA CORRESPONDENT

Six Bengalis were allegedly abducted and brutally beaten by members of the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) while working in the hills of Matiranga, Khagrachari, local officials said.

The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon in the Muslimpara area of Taindong Union.

Local sources said the Bengalis were clearing a garden for Taju Member when UPDF members abducted Md. Abu Taher, 47, Md. Mofiz Mia, 45, Md. Ayyub Ali, 32, Md. Khalilur Rahman, 35, Abdul Mannan, 40, and Mokhlesur Rahman, 70. The men were severely beaten, leaving Abu Taher seriously injured and hospitalized.

Abu Taher, a day laborer, said he and five others were working in the garden when seven armed tribal members tied their hands and beat them. He managed to escape when the ties loosened. Taher is currently receiving treatment at Matiranga Upazila Health Complex.

In a separate incident, another Bengali was reportedly abducted and beaten by the UPDF while working on his own land in the same area.

Attempts to reach UPDF district organizer Ongya Marama for comment were unsuccessful.

Local residents in the Fongbari Bankartila area have demanded a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) camp, stating that they have ancestral lands there but have been barred by the UPDF from accessing them for the past seven years. They claim the UPDF has intensified their oppression over the last two years.

Engineer Lokman Hossain, president of the Parbatya Nagarik Parishad in Khagrachari, condemned the incident, stating that such attacks are not new. He accused the UPDF of trying to prevent Bengalis from becoming economically self-sufficient by disrupting their farming activities. He has informed authorities and warned of protests if no action is taken.

Taindong UP Chairman Pear Ahang Majumdar confirmed the recurring nature of such incidents, stating that the UPDF has previously attacked Muslimpara residents who attempted to farm on their own land.

Lt. Col. Alamgir Kabir, PSC, commander of the Jamini Para Zone (23 BGB), said that the UPDF attacked Bengalis working on their land on Tuesday afternoon. Upon receiving the news, a patrol team from the battalion swiftly took necessary measures. He added that the situation in the area is now under control.

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