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Growing violence in hills: No serious investigation into the killings

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20th-Aug-2018       
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Seven people, including three leaders of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), were killed and six others injured in two gun attacks in Khagrachhari town on Saturday. With these, 33 people have so far been killed in violence in Rangamati and Khagrachhari this year. The UPDF alleged that it was a joint attack by activists of PCJSS (MN Larma) and UPDF (democratic) faction.
Violence is growing in the three hill districts of Bangladesh. In the recent years, there have been several retaliatory murders, racketeering, and other crimes. In the thick of it are the four different ethnic political parties. These parties are Santu Larma-led Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS), which along with its military wing the Shanti Bahini signed a peace accord with the government in 1997; the UPDF which broke away opposing the accord; PCJSS (MN Larma) that came into being in 2007, and UPDF Ganatantrik, which broke away from the UPDF in 2017. Hill people fear more bloodshed as the situation is becoming increasingly confrontational.
The main conflict is now between the UPDF, and its breakaway group who are allied with the MN-Larma group. Since the formation of PCJSS MN-Larma they signed three futile agreements for 'peace' with the UPDF. The first deal was signed on July 12, 2007 where UPDF and JSS vowed to refrain from bloody conflict over domination. The second one was signed in May 2011. Even then, the conflict continued and scores of men from both parties were killed. Later, the third was signed in 2015. Its clear the main reason for the discord is lack of implementation of the CHT peace treaty more than twenty years after its signing.
What is most surprising there is no coordinated effort by our security forces regarding proper investigations of the murders, as they know all too well its result will be politically motivated. We think thorough and impartial investigations into the killings with punishing the perpetrators could bring discipline in the hills.


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