Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi and more than 60 others are charged over the murder of an intelligence officer this month
Bangladesh police stand guard during a crackdown against suspected criminals and insurgents in a Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhia in this handout photograph taken on Oct. 28. (Photo: Bangladesh Armed Police Battalion (APBN/AFP)
Bangladesh's main military intelligence agency has charged the leader of a Rohingya insurgent group and more than 60 others over the murder of an intelligence officer this month, police said Sunday.
Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi is the founder of the Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army (ARSA), which is fighting for an independent homeland in Myanmar's Rakhine state for the much-persecuted Rohingya Muslim community.
Almost a million of the stateless Rohingya minority live in squalid conditions in overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh's southeast after fleeing violence and discrimination in neighboring Myanmar.
A team of elite Bangladeshi police conducted an anti-drug raid at one of the camps on November 14.
Police said Rizwan Rushdie, a senior officer the of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, was shot and then hacked to death by alleged ARSA members. A Rohingya woman was also killed in the raid.
"Ataullah was there during the attack," police inspector Mohammad Shahjahan told AFP. "He is the chief accused in the murder."
A total of 31 others, including ARSA members, were also charged with murder, he said, along with at least 30 unidentified attackers.
It is the first time that Ataullah has been charged with any offense by Bangladeshi authorities, but he has been implicated in other killings.
ARSA has been accused of assassinating political opponents, running narcotics and instilling a climate of fear in the camps.
A series of ARSA attacks against Myanmar security posts in 2017 prompted a brutal crackdown by the military that forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.
Ataullah was also accused of masterminding the murder of Mohib Ullah, a top Rohingya civilian leader, in September 2021.
ARSA has repeatedly denied the allegations on its Twitter account, saying it has only been working "for reinstating the legitimate rights of Rohingya".
AFP was unable to contact the group for comment about the charges against Ataullah.
Bangladesh security forces arrested hundreds of suspected ARSA members in the camps after Mohib Ullah's murder.
Unequal Christians of Asian Churches is a new series of features aimed to help us see prejudice and bias that are at work in our Church. They also help us see the struggles of Catholics to live out their faith.
Such features come to you for FREE, but it cost us to produce them.
Share your comments
Lingling, the former name of Yongzhou, is one of two urban districts of Yongzhou City, Hunan
In a land area of 5, 247 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers entire West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya
In a land area of 6,400 square kilometers, the Tuticorin diocesan territory covers the whole Tuticorin civil district
Asian Catholics who cannot visit Padua in Italy to honor the miraculous Portuguese Saint Anthony...
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The...
Christ the King Cathedral in Nha Trang of south-central Vietnam adds to the jewels in a coastal...