Advocate Shaktiman Chakma (52), Rangamati’s Naniarchar upazilla chairman, was found shot to death today at 11.15 AM.
Sudarshan Chakma, a top leader of PCSSS (MN Larma), said that Shaktiman, his party colleague, was going to his office from home when he was shot by two armed men. Rupam Chakma, another top party activist, was also seriously wounded.
Alamgir Kabir, Rangamati’s police superintend, also confirmed the incident to this correspondent.
Shaktiman Chakma was one of the leading organisers of PCJSS (MN Larma), a political organisation set up in 2010 having been split from PCJSS led by Shantu Larma. He served as the vice president of the party’s central committee until his death. Rupam Chakma, who was also wounded along with him, is the organising secretary of Naniarchar upazilla committee of the party.
The police super, Alamgir Kabir, said, “I came to know that he was shot in front of his office. However, it cannot be ascertained at this moment who are to blame for the killing.” The body will be brought in to Rangamati to conduct autopsy test, he added.
“While Rupam and Shaktiman dada were going to office from his home near Upazilla chattar, two gun-wielding men stopped them to shoot. He took three bullets and was dead right then. Rupam Chakma is still alive but not out of danger,” says Sudarshan Chakma, student secretary of the party and former chairman of Baghachari upazilla.
He blamed UPDF (United Peoples’ Democratic Front) for the killing. He claimed that UPDF had been threatening Shaktiman for long.
However, Niran Chakma, the chief of UPDF’s publicity department, denied his party being involved in the incident.
“This was perhaps a result of their internal feud. How do we come into the equation? I’m assuming that either it occurred due to their internal rivalry or a third party did this to sustain hostility among us,” he said.
Shaktiman Chakma, an alumnus of Dhaka University, was once a member of the central committee of Bangladesh Chhatra League. However, after Shantu Larma-led Shanti Bahini guerrilla force signed peace treaty with the government in 1997, he came back to hill and joined Larma’s PCJSS. He even acted as the law secretary of the party.
Later in 2010, some prominent members of PCJSS, including Tatindralal Chakma, Sudhasindhu Khisha and Rupayan Dewan, formed a new political party, namely PCJSS (M N Larma), having raised some objections against Shantu Larma. Shaktiman played a crucial role in forming the new party.
He subsequently rose to prominence and created strong political foothold in Naniarchar, his home turf, eventually thwarting once-unchallenged dominance of UPDF in the upazilla.
Shaktiman was also one of the accused in recent cases of UPDF leader Mithun Chakma’s murder and abduction of two UPDF women leaders, Manti Chakma and Dayashona Chakma. In the recent past, he repeatedly expressed fear for his life. It seems his fear turned out to be true.