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IN what may be turn out to be a security concern for India, the Bangladesh Army has set it’s eyes on a Buddhist monastery and its adjoining land in that country’s Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) for setting up an outpost along the India–Bangladesh border close to the remote Roishyabari area in Tripura.
Top leaders of the indigenous people’s organisations in the CHT said that the Bangladesh Army had plans to capture the Sadhana Tilla Vihara (monastery) and its 150 acre of surrounding land to set up an outpost with a helipad next to the Indian border.
According to the leaders, the Bangladesh Army and the BGB train pro-army tribal and non–tribal Bengali Muslim youth as vigilantes and use them to capture land that belongs to tribal and other ethnic or religious minorities.
Armed men had been brought to Babuchhara area to help capture the Sadhana Tilla Vihara, the leaders said that the army and the BGB were planning to instigate riots among the various groups of hill people around the monastery so that it could be used as a ploy to capture the monastery
president of the United Workers Democratic Front Sachib Chakma, president of the Democratic Youth Forum Angya Marma, president of the Hill Women’s Federation Nirupa Chakma and president of Hill Student’s Council Bipul Chakma said in a joint statement.
They said that since March 18, a group of 10 to 12 armed men have taken shelter in the house of a Bengali Muslim who also works as a computer mechanic at Babuchhara Bazar. These men are involved in extortion and have already collected about Taka 25 lakh.
Pointing out that there was an army check post and police camp several hundred yards from where the armed men were staying, they said, “in spite of the presence of the army check post and the police camp close to where these terrorists are staying, how can they continue their reckless extortion, armed exercises and even murder? The government and the army will have to take the responsibility for the murder of the two UPDF workers.’’
Stating that the armed men had been brought to Babuchhara area to help capture the Sadhana Tilla Vihara, the leaders said that the army and the BGB were planning to instigate riots among the various groups of hill people around the monastery so that it could be used as a ploy to capture the monastery by bringing in and settling Bengali Muslims in the area. ■