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2024-04-08 21:02:53

Nathan Bom in spotlight again

Shakhawat Kawsar

Nathan Bom in spotlight again

The much talked about leader of Kuki-Chin National Front or KNF has been in the spotlight again. The matter of providing training to the members of militant organization Jamatul Ansar Al-fil Hindal Sharkiya by KNF was revealed two years ago. The founder of KNF is Nathan Bom. According to the intelligence information, Nathan coordinated everything of his group even though he now lives on the other side of Bangladesh border. He recruited many people of Bom tribes into KNF. The intelligence also received information about this traveling to Myanmar and Netherlands.

The top officials of the law enforcing agencies of the country have said they’re investigating whether there is any international conspiracy behind the present dangerous activity of KNF.

RAB Additional Director General (Ops) Colonel Mahbub Alam told The Bangladesh Pratidin, “We are making all out efforts to locate Nathan. Today (on Sunday) the chief coordinator of the KNF, Cheosim Bom, is being arrested. Let's see if any information is available from him. However, for this we will also take the help of Interpol.”

Several sources say that the then Amir of Jamaatul Ansar met with Nathan Bom, the founder of KNF, at the end of 2020. Agreement was reached with Anisur Rahman alias Mahmud. According to the agreement, KNF would train the members of 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya' in the hilly areas from 2021 to 2023 and 3 lakh taka per month is to be paid to KNF. 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya' even bears the food expenses of the trainees and trainers of KNF. The agreement mentions the provision of training and shelter to this new militant outfit where they are also asked to pay a huge amount of money in that agreement. In return for that money, the members of the new militant organization were staying there, taking training. They were getting all kinds of support there including food.

Origin: Among the small ethnic groups of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the population of Bom community is around 5 to 6 thousands. Bandarban district in hilly area is mainly inhabited by people of this community. Among the minority communities, the Bams are one of the most backward. One of these boys was admitted to Dhaka University Fine Arts Faculty in 1996 and completed his studies there. But after completing his studies, when he should have done something for his tribe, instead of doing something for himself, he built a terrorist organization KNF in the mountains. This terrorist organization has become a cause of fear for all the people of the hills or the plains.

Recently, Kuki-chin showed its power by raiding three branches of two banks in Thanchi and Ruma of Bandarban. Law enforcement forces say they are sure Cookie-Chin was involved in the bank robbery. However, the BGB is not sure whether Kuki-Chin is involved in the firing incident at Thanchi police station.

Allegedly, around 2017, Nathan sent 40 members of the Bom community to Cochin state in Myanmar for training. Soon after their return, Nathan began a covert operation. He also submitted his nomination papers for the 2018 parliamentary elections. But that nomination paper was not valid. He announced the formation of a separate state by posting on Facebook around 2022. After that, he started posting various pictures of KNF activities. Most of the Bam community is very poor. Almost all of these ethnic groups are Christians. Nathan Bom also grew up in such a poor family. They are five brothers and one sister. Nathan is the youngest. Nathan Bom was associated with Pahari Chhatra Parishad during his student life. He was also the local level leader of the student organization of JSS. His wife Lelsomkin Bom is a civil servant and has two children. Wife is working as a nurse at Ruma Upazila Health Complex in Bandarban. However, there is talk in the area that she has broken up with Nathan. After studying up to HSC in Bandarban, Nathan was admitted to Dhaka University's Faculty of Fine Arts and graduated from there. He also claimed to have studied in UK. Locals believe that Nathan received some money while building the NGO although no one knows anything about its origin. From that time Nathan Bom started to unite the people of the area especially the youth. At first the people of the area did not pay much attention to it. But at some point they also started to have some doubts. Some even warn Nathan. Many people think that Nathan was working to build an armed organization under the cover of this NGO. Nathan applied for a job with an international development agency working in Bangladesh. But he didn't get it. After that he also made a resort in his own area. But he could not succeed there either and the business also stopped. Then he formed an NGO. It is not clear how Nathan formed an armed terrorist organization after failing to establish an NGO called the Kuki-Chin National Development Organization (KNDO). There are many discussions in the area about Nathan’s becoming a terrorist. But no one can say anything confirmly. Locals and his relatives can only say that since 2018, they have seen some unusual behavior in Nathan Bom.

In 2018, Nathan and few other youths are rumored to have gone to the neighboring Chin State of Myanmar and thereafter he is said to have traveled frequently to Mizoram in India and the Chin State of Myanmar. Around February 2022, Nathan beat up a local man in his NGO office and made him injured. Nathan left the area soon after. Locals and Nathan's relatives believe that some group in Mizoram and China and an organization or individual with a grudge against the Chakmas, a small ethnic group inside the country, might have helped Nathan.

(The report was published on print and online versions of The Bangladesh Pratidin on April 8 and rewritten in English by Lutful Hoque Khan) ​​

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