Two UPDF members killed in Rangamati tourist hotspot Sajek

The organisation blames PCJSS for the killings, an allegation the Santu Larma-led group denies

Published : 4 Feb 2024, 01:36 PM
Updated : 4 Feb 2024, 01:36 PM

Gunmen have killed two members of the United People’s Democratic Front or UPDF, an organisation of hill tribes, at Rangamati district’s Sajek, a favourite haunt of tourists.

The organisation has blamed Parbatya Chattoggram Jana Sanghati Samity or PCJSS for the killings, an allegation the Santu Larma-led group has denied.

The attack took place at a tea stall at Bridgepara in the Machalong area on Sunday noon, said the district’s Superintendent of Police Mir Abu Touhid.

The victims are Ashish Chakma Ashukyo, 45, of Baghaichhari and Dipayan Chakma, 38, a native of Sajek.

Locals said some members of Prasit Bikash Khisa-led UPDF were talking at the tea stall when a group of armed men arrived and opened fire.

Ashish and Dipayan died at the scene.

Angyo Marma, a spokesman for the UPDF, said those behind the killings want to “suppress the hill people’s desire for freedom”.

Arjent Chakma, an organiser of the UPDF in Baghaichhari, said Santu Larma-led PCJSS was responsible for the attack.

But Tridib Chakma, organising secretary of the PCJSS’s Baghaichhari unit, said they were not involved in the incident because they do not have presence in Sajek and Machalong.

“It’s wrong to blame us for this incident,” he remarked. “This allegation is false and baseless.”

SP Touhid said initial investigation suggests the victims were members of UPDF and the attackers were also members of another armed organisation of hill tribes.

Police were working to recover the bodies for autopsy, he said and added a case would also be filed over the incident.