Shanti Bahini

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Flag of Shanti Bahini
A secret Shanti Bahini camp, May 5, 1994. Photo: Biplob Rahman
Ex leader of Shanti Bahini, Ushatan Talukdar. Photo: Biplob Rahman

The Shanti Bahini (Bengali: শান্তি বাহিনী "Peace Force") was the name of the military wing of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti - the United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh.

It was formed in 1972 to preserve the rights of the tribal people in south-eastern Bangladesh, and fought for many years against the government.[1] It abandoned militancy following the peace treaty signed by the government and the Shamiti on December 2, 1997. Although some members opposed to the peace deal formed a dissident group.[2]

History[edit]

On February 15, 1972, Manabendra Narayan Larma founded the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS), seeking to build an organisation representing all the tribal peoples of the Hill Tracts. Larma was elected to the Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad, the national legislature of Bangladesh as candidate of the PCJSS in 1973.[3] When Larma's continued efforts to make the state recognise the rights of the tribal peoples failed, Larma and the PCJSS began organising the Shanti Bahini (Peace Corps), an armed force operating in the Hill Tracts area. Later on, this force began attacking state security forces in 1977. They carried out viscous kidnapping of civilians and extortion. Larma and his rebels still kept on fighting Bengali intrusion into tribal areas.[4][5][6] Being the main leader of the PCJSS and the Shanti Bahini, Larma consequently went underground, into hiding from state security forces.[4][6] However, factionalism within the PCJS weakened Larma's standing and he was assassinated on November 10, 1983.[4][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bangladeshi Insurgents Say India Is Supporting Them - New York Times
  2. ^ One rescued as BD commandoes search for kidnapped workers - Daily Times
  3. ^ "Larma, Manabendra Narayan". Banglapedia - National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  4. ^ a b c Nagendra K. Singh (2003). Encyclopaedia of Bangladesh. Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd. p. 229. ISBN 81-261-1390-1. 
  5. ^ Bushra Hasina Chowdhury (2002). Building Lasting Peace: Issues of the Implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Pr. 
  6. ^ a b c "Shanti Bahini". Banglapedia - National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2008-06-09.