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Mar-10-2013 14:36printcomments

Suspects with Reported Ties to Shanti Bahini, Busted Hauling Arms from Burma

A huge arms haul in Mizoram is reportedly tied to Rakhine terrorists in Burma.

Arrest of men for shipping arms from Burma Raknines
Courtesy: Bangla Times

(MIZORAM, Burma) - Police in India's northeastern state of Mizoram have seized a huge consignment of weapons from two hideouts of the now-defunct Shanti Bahini that used to be the military wing of the once-rebellious Parbattya Chattogram Jansanghati Samity (PCJSS) and ALP.

The police have arrested three tribal men, who are suspected to belong to the ‘Shanti Bahini’ group that remained behind in India after the rest of the rebel outfit went back to Bangladesh following the 1997 accord between the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government and the PCJSS.

Those detained were identified as Rabi Chakma, Sabuj Chakma and Moni Tripura.

The three detainees along with the huge cache of arms were remanded in police custody for 72 hours by a local court on Friday.

The seizure and the arrests were made during a joint operation by, the state police CID (Crime) and troops from the 26 battalion of the Assam Rifles.

Thirty-one AK-47 assault rifles, one Singapore-made Light Machine Gun (LMG), one US-made Browning Automatic Rifle 32 magazines and 809 rounds of ammunition of different weapons were seized during two successive raids. The first raid was late on Wednesday night, the second based on information gained from preliminary interrogation of the three arrested took place on Thursday morning.

"The three were earlier arrested under section 41 of the CrPC, but regular cases including Arms Act, Foreigners Act and the Indian Passport Act were registered at Sairang Police station under which the arms were seized," a Mizoram police official said, but he was not willing to be named.

He said the weapons had been smuggled into Mizoram from Myanmar but it was not clear whether they were intended for Bangladesh or for a rebel group in Tripura, with which these former ‘Shanti Bahini’ guerrillas seem to have a close link.

Police from Mizoram’s neighbouring state Tripura has already send a three member team for questioning the arrested Chakmas.

Tripura’s Inspector General of Police Nepal Das told that initial investigations indicate the weapons had been procured from gunrunners in Myanmar and were meant for a rebel group in Tripura.

He said two of those arrested were from Kanchanpur in north Tripura and one was originally from Bangladesh.

“Mizoram has become a major arms corridor for bringing weapons into northeast India and Bangladesh from Myanmar,” Das said.

He said the three arrested appeared to have turned to professional gun-running but it was worth exploring who they were trying to send the weapons to.

Mizoram police officials however suspect that the trio were trying to sell the weapons to Chakma armed groups inside Bangladesh.

The PCJSS factions are engaged in a bitter factional strife with the Prachit Khisa-led UPDF in a bloody turf war in the Chittagong Hill Tracts since the 1997 accord.

Peace returned to Mizoram when the separatist Mizo National Front signed an accord with the Indian government in 1986 and their fighters based in Myanmar and Bangladesh returned to normal life.

But Mizoram also had bases of the Shanti Bahini in the heydays of the Chakma insurgency in Chittagong Hill Tracts. But after the 1997 accord, most of the ‘Shanti Bahini’ fighters returned to Bangladesh and settled down in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Tribal insurgency in Tripura has now been largely contained but a faction of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is still active under its chairman Biswamohan Debbarma.

Now, it is quite clear and understood that Rakine terrorist group ALP which has been committing ethnic cleansing agaist Rohingya minority in Arakan, Burma(Myanmar), in collaboration with RNDP enjoys complete immunity from prosecution in Mynmar for every crime they commit only because their target is Rohingyas in Arakan and the arm forces of Bangladesh in Chittagong area, with their ultimate goal of annexing Chittagong into Arakan, would be governed by Rakhine terrorist group in the future.

Government of Thein Sein is complicit to these criminal activities of Chanti Bahani and ALP. Otherwise one can ask, how is it possible to smuggle such a huge consignment of weapons from Myanmar, a county where every thing is so restricted, and general public particulary Rohingya cannot even own a big knife. Furthermore, there are no arms rebellion against governmet or any arm conflict in that part of Mynmar. Without local and Burmese central government's consent and support it is utterly impossible to acquire weapons of such magnitude.

There have been many instances of weapons seized from the members of ALP during the ethninc cleansing of Rohingyas which started from 3rd June 2012. But there are no prosecution of any body til today . In some cases weapons were even redistributed to the criminals by RNDP to kill Rohingyas. As a result thousands of Rohingyas have been killed.

Cleansing of Rohingya from the soil of Arakan will not solve the problem for the region. It could even create a larger regional conflict and this sets a dangerous precedent particulary for Bangladesh because of strong cooperation among Shanti Bahani, ALP and RNDP. Gpvernment of Bangladesh and India should be mindful and seriously think about this and should not let the Arakan to become an arms corridor which will destablise entire region and engulf with manmade catastrophes.

Special thanks to Bangla Times



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