Armed groups in hill tracts outgun law enforcers

Jamal Uddin
Published : 00:25, Dec 03, 2019 | Updated : 00:27, Dec 03, 2019

The armed groups in the hill tracts have all kinds of weapons from light to heavy and the masses of the hill tracts are hostages in their hands. In fact, in remote areas and jungles, law enforcers are also helpless facing up to such armed factions.
Authorities say that if they could enter remote parts then the situation would have been different. Also, reporting the movement of law enforcers to the armed groups is mandatory for locals.
Failing to do so are punishable. Armed groups in the hill tracts reportedly collect weapons from international arms traders. They possess mortars, rocket launchers, LMG, SMG, AK-47, sniper rifles, hand grenades and other weapons.
Abducting people for ransom is their main source of income. On Dec 2, 1997, the government announced a general amnesty for these groups and signed the peace accords. The groups laid down 71 conditions and the government put up only one: the surrender of all illegal weapons plus an end to terrorism.
However, they did not keep their promise. They are also are involved in a bloody and violent internal feud. The government on the other hand has acceded to 48 conditions of the rebels.
Currently there are four organisations of ethnic minorities: Janasanghati Samity (JSS), Janasanghati Samity (JSS-MN Larma), United People’s Democratic Front, UPDF and UPDF (democratic). Officials believe that these groups have heavy weapons. From January 2014 till November, 2019, the law enforcers have recovered 561 types of weapons and ammunition from the terrorists in the hill tracts. On Apr 18, 2018, magazines for SMG, assault rifle, pistols and other items were recovered from the Kainda area.
As per information, the groups have 144 LMGs, 323 AK-47 and 7.62 mm rifles 122 M-16 rifles, 59 G-3 rifles, 40 mortars, around 300 local and foreign made guns, 360m pistols etc.
Superintendent of police Alamgir Kabir said: “Even in committing crimes, the ethic people follow a culture and they are involved in a variety of unlawful activities; if we could infiltrate the remote, inaccessible areas then we could have eradicated the armed groups.”