Unidentified criminals attacked a house and abducted two leaders of United People’s Democratic Front-backed Hill Women’s Federation from Kudukchari in Rangamati on Sunday.
The attackers abducted Hill Women’s Federation central committee general secretary Monty Chakma and its Rangamati district unit general secretary Dayasona Chakma at gunpoint and also burnt down the house of Democratic Youth Forum leader Dharma Sing Chakma after firing gunshots at the house leaving Dharma injured.
The UPDF in a press release said the attackers had come riding a vehicle of security forces and ‘during their operation, security patrol on Rangamati-Khagrachari road was intensified’.
The abductors took Monty and Dayasona through the jungle beside Buddhist temple at Kudukchari, said UPDF publication and publicity affairs secretary Niran Chakma.
UPDF leader Michael Chakma said the two women leaders were being targeted by security forces for long. ‘Monty Chakma was an eyewitness to many incidents that had taken place before and after the death of college student Romel Chakma in law enforcers’ custody and Dayasona had visited the two Marma sisters at Rangamati hospital several times amid tight security when the sisters were admitted there after being sexually assaulted,’ he said.
UPDF-backed Hill Women’s Federation, Parbatya Chattagram Nari Sangha and Ghilachari Nari Nirjatan Protirodh Committee protested at the attack and abduction by blocking Khagrachari-Rangamati road immediately after the incident.
They also went out on demonstrations in Khagrachari, Chittagong and Dhaka protesting at the abduction.
The blockade was, however, withdrawn when police and army personnel strengthened their patrol.
Rangamati Kotwali police officer-in-charge Satyajit Barua claimed that one UPDF man was critically injured during a gunfight between two groups of UPDF over establishing supremacy in the hills.
He said the UPDF had alleged that two of their women leaders were abducted.
The police officer said they were investigating the matter though no case was lodged till Sunday night.
The Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission in a statement expressed concerns at the abduction of two leaders.
In a statement signed by its co-chairs, Sultana Kamal, Elsa Stamatopoulou and Myrna Cunningham Kain, the commission asked the local authorities to take appropriate measures to rescue the abducted leaders.
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