Saturday, October 21, 2017
TWO innocent villagers were beaten as the army searched for UPDF activists in the small hours today at Alutila Punorbashon area in Khagrachari district.
One of the victims, Ruptai Tripura, 30, told chtnews.com: ‘It was about 2:30 a.m. and was raining. I was awoken by barking sounds of the dogs. Then I heard someone was pushing the door hard. They were calling out to open the door. I opened the door and instantly the soldiers entered the house. They took all of us out on the courtyard and then searched the house, throwing things around.’
After searching the house, the army began interrogating Ruptai Tripura about the whereabouts of the UPDF members.
He continued: ‘The army asked me to tell them where the UPDF activists stay. When I said I did not know, they began beating me. They punched and kicked me and later beat me with a stick.’
He said, ‘The army shouted at me as they beat me’.
“‘Why you don’t inform us when UPDF people come? Why you give shelter to them? Why you don’t help us arrest them?’ they shouted.”
The army also took photographs of, and videoed, all the inmates of the house, including Ruptai Tripura.
He said the soldiers stayed one and a half hours and took his phone number before leaving.
‘They threatened me saying, “If you fail to help us arrest UPDF members in the next three days, we’ll first beat the hell out of you and then send you to jail after placing a gun in your hands.”’
He further said that the army repeated the same threat in the morning today.
Another victim of the army raid is Shanti Moni Chakma, whose house was also searched by the army.
He said, ‘It was about 3 at night and was drizzling. The army encircled my house and searched every corner of it. I had put the recently harvested jum-paddy in sacks. The soldiers threw the paddy out of the sacks on to the ground in the name of searching for firearms.’
He further said that the army had given him three days to help them catch UPDF members.
‘If I fail they would put me to jail after placing a gun in my hands’, he told of the threats the army gave him before leaving.
‘Now I don’t know what to do or where to go. I’m very much feeling insecure.’ he added.
News No. o6/2017