Two Bangladeshi citizens missing for 21 days, fear looms in Chakma vicinity

Members of the Chakma Palli in Ukhiya are concerned about the fate of two missing Tanchangya menProthom Alo

It has been nearly three weeks since two members of the Tanchangya community were kidnapped while catching crabs in the sluice gate area of ​​Naf River in Whykong Union of Teknaf Upazila in Cox's Bazar.

The incident took place on 16 May, but the family members could not know their whereabouts since then. It gave rise to an environment of fear in the locality. 

The missing ones are – Chhoila Mong and Kya Mong Thoye Tanchangya, respectively, son and grandson of Chhusing Sya Tanchangya from the Chakma Palli in Whykong. Relatives alleged that the Arakan Salvation Army (ARSA) kidnapped them.

Chhusing Sya Tanchangya said some ARSA terrorists kidnapped the duo at gunpoint from the Naf River. They lodged written complaints to the police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in this regard, but are yet to receive any response. 

"We do not know why they were kidnapped, when they will be returned, or if they are even alive. We need the help of RAB, BGB, and the police to rescue them,” he added.

Some residents of the Chakma Palli said the armed groups and Rohingya terrorists of Myanmar want to evict the Chakmas from the neighbourhood in Ukhiya. They may use the kidnappings to spread panic in a planned way.

They also feared about the fate of the kidnapped ones as they did not make any contact since the day of missing.

A local public representative, seeking anonymity, said the Arakan Army (AA) is now in conflict with ARSA in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The ARSA might have picked up the two Bangladeshis, suspecting them of being affiliated with the AA.

Earlier, the AA abducted 12 Bangladeshi fishermen while they were fishing in the Naf River near the Palongkhali border in Ukhiya. They were later released after confirmation of their identities. 

Lt. Col. Md Mohiuddin Ahmed, commanding officer of Teknaf-2 BGB Battalion, said they received a written complaint over the incident and their inquiry is underway.

Muhammad Osman Gani, officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf Model police station, told Prothom Alo that it remains unclear who kidnapped the two Bangladeshis, why they were kidnapped, or where they have been taken. The police are trying to trace them in various ways, but yet to find any leads.