Six activists of JSS faction die in Bandarban armed attack

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-07-07 11:46:10 BdST

At least six activists of the reformist unit of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity, or JSS, have been shot and killed in Bandarban.

Armed assailants entered the house of Ratan Sen Tanchangya in Baghmara, Bandarban, and shot six people at around 7 am on Tuesday, said OC Shahidul Alam Chowdhury of Sadar Police Station. At least three persons were injured in the attack.

Among the dead was 60-year-old Ratan Sen Tanchangya, the president of Bandarban wing of the JSS reformist unit. Other dead activists were Bimal Kanti Chakma alias Projit Chakma, 65, David Marma, 50, Joy Tripura, 40, Jiten Tripura, 42, and Milon Chakma, 60.

A total of nine activists were present in the house when the attackers raided the place, said Wai Mong Marma, a JSS activist. Ratan Sen was cooking for all of them.

A group of armed people swooped in, opened fire indiscriminately and fled through the nearby paddy field. There were seven attackers, said Wai Mong, but he saw two of them shooting.

“I was working inside the house while my husband was cooking outside. Hearing the gunshots, I rushed out of the room, only to find my husband and others injured and lying on the ground,” said Minipru Marma, wife of Ratan.

She saw two people flee the scene.

Bangladesh Army personnel visited the home of Ratan Sen Tanchangya, a leader of the reformist unit of Jana Sanghati Samiti, in Bandarban’s Baghmara on Tuesday after an attack left six members of the group dead.

Bullet casings lie at the home of Ratan Sen Tanchangya, a leader of the reformist unit of Jana Sanghati Samiti, in Bandarban’s Baghmara on Tuesday after an attack left six members of the group dead.

Ubamong Marma, general secretary of Bandarban District Committee of JSS reformist unit, was present during the incident. “I survived because I ducked on the floor hearing the gunshots.”

Ubamong blamed the killings on the original faction of JSS.

bdnews24.com could not receive any immediate statement from the main unit of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity, led by Santu Larma.

Police are investigating the incident, said Jerin Akhter, superintendent of police in Bandarban. 

Disagreeing with the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in 1997, a group of activists led by Prasit Kheesa formed a separate group called United People's Democratic Front.

After another split a decade ago, JSS (MN Larma) was formed, led by Sudha Sindu Kheesa. This outfit is locally known as the reformist wing of JSS.

Another group called UPDF (Democratic) was created three years ago led by Tapan Jyoti Chakma. The factional rivalry in the hill tracts led to an armed conflict in the region in 2018.