KNF shuts power substation before attack on bank: Home minister

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan
File photo

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said members of militant outfit Kuki-Chin National Front’s (KNF) members were involved with a robbery attempt in Sonali Bank’s Ruma branch.  The militants have abducted Sonali Bank’s branch manager.

The minister said this to journalists at the secretariat today. Earlier on Tuesday night, the KNF militants attacked the Sonali Bank branch in Ruma in Bandarban. Later, an attack was carried out in Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank branches in Bandarban’s Thanchi on Wednesday afternoon.

The home minister said KNF militants joined hands with local militants for training. The Bangladesh Army and RAB drove them away.

The home minister said KNF shut the power sub-station before entering into Sonali Bank in Ruma. Later they advanced towards Sonali Bank where police members were deployed. Most of the police members and the manager of the bank were performing Taraweeh prayer.

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The KNF members attacked assistant sub inspector (ASI) Mamunur Rahman and constable Towhidul Islam and snatched two light machine guns and eight Chinese rifles and shotguns from Ansar members at upazila complex, said the home minister.

The local law enforcement sources said the militants also looted bullets.
Meanwhile, Shahnewaz Khaled, special superintendent of police of the CID in Chattogram region, told Prothom Alo  no money was robbed from Sonali Bank’s Ruma branch. Two CID teams from Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar visited the spot and collected evidence from the branch. Later they counted all the money and found over Tk 159 million kept in the vault untouched.

However, officials of two branches in Thanchi said armed robbers looted Tk 1.7 million from the banks.

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KNF started its activities from the middle of 2022. Law enforcers earlier said that new militant outfit Jamaatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya members took armed training in KNF den as per an agreement between the two militant groups.

The law enforcers raided the KNF den last year and arrested several members of Ansar Fil Hindal and KNF.

In May last year, a ‘peace establishment committee’ led by zila parishad chairman Kya Shew Hla was formed to bring back KNF members to the mainstream of the society. A second meeting between KNF and the peace establishment committee took place at the Bethel Para on 5 March.