Kidnapping in the hills
THE safety situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts has deteriorated sharply, a manifestation of which we see in a rise in the incidents of abduction in the region. According to reports published in this paper recently, 26 people have been kidnapped in the last 10 months in Bandarban, Rangamati and Cox's Bazaar, of whom 20 have been released after families paid ransom. Six people are still being held hostage. Not only that, last August a BGB soldier was injured when Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) members fired on a BGB patrol team. And last month, a VDP member was killed in an exchange of fire with a terrorist group in the CHT. The situation points to a serious downturn in the law and order, and, to make matters even more worrisome, no one has been hauled up yet in connection with the abductions.
Myanmarese insurgents groups ALA and Mro National Party are, reportedly, behind these abductions, which the outfits use to finance their clandestine activities. It is now evident that they are using parts of our territory as hideouts. The hostile nature of the terrain and its limited accessibility makes it easy for these groups to carry out cross border activities with impunity.
This month, the so-called military commander of the ALA Renin Su was arrested from Rangamati. Following the information extracted from him, a coordinated operation against the ALA and other such group should be in the offing. The law enforcing agencies need to work more on human intelligence to arrests the kidnappers and prevent abduction. The government should also seek the cooperation of the neighbouring countries to flush out these criminal outfits.