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Kachins training up Kuki-Chins to create separate State in BD

Published : Friday, 28 April, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 822

The Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) an insurgent group which aims at establishing a separate State within Bangladesh were armed trained by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) of Myanmar. The KNF also trained by Kuki National Army (KNA) at Manipur, according to sources.

The members of KNF took three months of commando training from Kuki insurgent group active in Northeast India and northwest Myanmar, sources added.
KIA is a non-state armed group and the military wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). The KNA is a Kuki insurgent group active in Northeast India and northwest Myanmar. It is the armed wing of the Kuki National Organisation.

The group KNF tried to stop the road construction work going on in Thanchi under the supervision of the Bangladesh Army.

Failing it, they kidnapped 12 workers. The KNF held 4 of them hostage, one sustained bullet wounds and 7 others were freed after extortion  money was saved, according to sources.  
Insurgent group KNF president, Nathan Bom, passed his master's degree from the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University.  He was an active member of the Dhaka metropolitan branch and central committee of JSS' student organization Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP). He is also the founding president of Kuki-Chin National Development Organization (KNDO).

Nathan, who authored six books, worked on the sculpture of MN Larma at Chengi Square in Khagrachhari. He was the first candidate from the Bam community as an independent candidate in the 2018 parliamentary election.

KNF also maintains close ties with like-minded groups operating in Mizoram, Manipur in India, Rakhine State in Myanmar and the CHT. In Bangladesh, the group blames Jana Samhati Samity (JSS) for alleged persecution and discrimination and the Arakan Army for coordinated attacks. Other communities of the same minority are the Mro, Lusai, Khumi, Khyang and Pangkhua ethnic groups of the CHT.  

In October, law enforcers discovered that KNF was training members of a new militant group named Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya in exchange for money.

Formed in 2017, the KNF aims at establishing a separate State within Bangladesh -- with nine upazilas, namely Baghaichhari, Barkal, Belaichhari and Jurachhari upazilas of Rangamati hill district and Ruma, Thanchi, Alikadam and Rowangchhari upazilas under Bandarban.

"Separatist" group KNF, which consists of young male and female members of the Bom community, maintains close ties with like-minded groups operating in Mizoram, Manipur, Rakhine State and the CHT.

In Bangladesh, this Christian-dominated ethnic group laments the Jana Samhati Samity (JSS) for alleged persecution and discrimination and the Arakan Army for coordinated attacks. They are also found engaged in fierce battles with the JSS members and spread terror in villages to establish supremacy.

The eastern border of the Bandarban district that touches India and Myanmar is a favourite junction for the separatists and religious extremist groups. Here they conduct training, trade and other communication more or less fearlessly.

But the local police, paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the military carry out special operations to dismantle their training camps and hideouts.

Moreover, around 50-60 of the KNF members are said to be undergoing training with sophisticated weapons.

On November 20-21 last year, at least 270 persons from 76 families of the Bom community left their homes in the CHT as Mizoram Refugees. Most of those people were children and women, and none were males aged 14-60.

The KNF was officially launched as an armed organization with 2,000 members in the hills in May last year.

KNF President Nathan Bom urged the government to create a conducive atmosphere for a ceasefire and on modalities of disarmament, and grant its demand for a Kuki-Chin State within and under the ambit of the Constitution.

The KNF has also accused the government of engaging Myanmar's militia group Arakan Army to dislocate them.

The rise of the KNF and its armed wing has raised concerns among the hill people as well as the government, as the three hill districts have long been troubled by conflicts and violent activities by other organizations. These groups are JSS (main and reformists), the United People's Democratic Front (UPDF - main and democratic) and the Mog Party.

Since October, when the law enforcers discovered KNF's ties to Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, the joint forces and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have arrested dozens of members of the two groups during raids on the training camps and seized arms and ammunition.

They are believed to have 2,000 members armed with heavy weapons, including AK 47, in the Jampui hills of Bandarban's Ruma border and Mizoram border of India.

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