News No. 14/2017 : Saturday, November 18, 2017
A vigilante group, similar to the now-defunct army-backed Borkha Party terrorist group in Laxmichari, has been formed in Khagrachari to counter the ever growing influence of the United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF), a political party campaigning for full autonomy for the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.
The formation of the group was announced at a press conference at Khagrapur Community Centre on Wednesday, 15 November.
The group claim themselves to be ‘UPDF (democratic)’, but to the common people they have come to be known as ‘Jaroz Party’.
There was a strong presence of army and police personnel at the press conference to protect them from a crowd of angry people who gathered around the community centre.
A section of the Jana Samhati Samiti (reformist) also provided support to the vigilante group.
Some of the leaders of the group are ex-member of the UPDF, but were expelled two years ago for corruption, embezzlement and violating party discipline.
One of the Jaroz Party leaders, Shyamol Kanti Chakma alias Joleya, was caught with an automatic weapon while being searched at Baghaihat zone gate on 26 October.
But instead of arresting him, the army escorted him back to his secret den in Khagrachari and returned his weapon.