Jan 27, 2010

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Shots Fired on Santu Larma's Motorcade

Sample ImageShots were fired at Santu Larma's motorcade on Wednesday as the Chittagong Hill Tracts regional council chairman was travelling to Khagrachharhi from Rangamati to attend a meeting of the CHT Land Commission.


Below is an article published by: bdnews24.com

On reaching Khagrachharhi, Jyotirindra Bodhipriyo Larma, popularly known as Santu Larma, in a press conference expressed concern over the attack despite the strong presence of law enforcers in the troubled hill districts. If the administration failed to take appropriate steps, he would take measures into his own hands, the regional leader warned.

Larma said he was not so sorry that miscreants had attacked him, "but an attack on the national flag of Bangladesh was an attack on the whole nation", he added. The motorcade came under attack at three points, witnesses said. Khaki-clad assailants reportedly tried to waylay the vehicles at three spots on the Mahalchharhi-Khagrhachharhi road.

The first attack came at Betchharhi in Rangamati, the second at Katapaharh and the third was launched from the forest adjacent to Triratna Bouddha Vihara at Mikechharhi. Three to four rounds of gunshots were fired during the third attack, said witnesses.

The motorcade, however, managed to speed away. Santu sustained minor injuries as broken fragments of glass struck him. His security aides Jin Pal Chakma and Borun Chakma were also injured. Khagrachharhi deputy commissioner Md Abdullah said, "Santu Larma's opponents attacked him, but he is safe and will attend the scheduled meeting." Md Amir Zafar, Khagrachharhi acting police superintendent, said, "I have heard that assailants launched attacks and fired shots. We are proceeding to inspect the places of attack."

Santu Larma blamed United People's Democratic Front, which opposes the terms of a peace accord with the government, for the attacks. Sajeev Chakma, a spokesperson for Parbatya Chhattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS), also claimed that the attacks were launched in a bid to frustrate the implementation of the 1997 CHT Peace Accord in the restive region.

UPDF leader Niran Chakma denied the allegations against his group. "We know nothing about the attack," he said.