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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fresh Land Grabbing and minority displacement continued in CHT, Bangladesh





Fresh Land Grabbing and Bengali Settlement Programme
continued in CHT



News report submitted by: Ms. Rosaline DE Costa, Hotline Bangladesh.



Land grabbing by Bengali settlers and imminent forcible
eviction of indigenous Jumma peoples from Sadhana Tila area under Dighinala
Police Station, Khagrachari district of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh
became a flashpoint. The Sadhana Tila Buddhist temple has been desecrated by the
illegal plain settlers and is facing destruction. In addition, following the
publication of a leaflet by the Students and Youth Committee Against Land
Aggression, Zone Commander of Dighinala, Major Qamrul Hassan summoned Mr.
Sattyendriyo Chakma, headman of Baghaichari Mouza (Kapaeeng Watch mistakenly
mentioned Mr. Jnanendriyo Chakma as Headman of Babuchara mouza in previous
report), to the zone headquarters, interrogated and threatened to kill him if he
did not allow the illegal settlers to capture the Sadhana Tila land.


Since 15 August 2007, indigenous peoples of
Sadhana Tila have been living on the edges of an impending communal riot as the
military authorities have undertaken programmes to settle over 800 illegal plain
settler families by evicting indigenous Jumma peoples and destroying the Sadhana
Tila Buddhist temple. Indigenous Jumma peoples have been living in these lands
from time immemorial.


As the Sadhana Tila became a flashpoint, on 28 August
2007
, Chief of Bangladesh Army, General Moeen U Ahmed visited the area.
Since then, the situation has only deteriorated.


On 2 September 2007, the illegal plain settlers
destroyed some of the houses of indigenous Jumma peoples around Sadhana Tila
Buddhist temple. Earlier on 1 September 2007 at around 12 noon, a group
of settlers led by Md. Malek and Chand Mian pulled down the signboard of Sadhana
Tila temple and smashed it. They also threatened the Buddhist monks to leave the
temple and destroyed a few houses of the Jumma people at Sadhana Tila.


I. State's attempts to implant over 800 families of
illegal settlers at Sadhana Tila


The Sadhana Tila area under Dighinala Police Station
comprises about 300 acres of land and houses a Buddhist Meditation Center and a sizable indigenous Jumma
population. As stated above, indigenous Jumma peoples have been living in these
villages from time immemorial.


Since 13 August 2007, the illegal plain settlers supported by the
Bangladesh army personnel and
the Bangladesh police have launched
programmes to forcibly capture the lands of the area. Bangladesh army personnel led by Dighinala Zone
Commander, Major Qamrul Hassan ordered the Buddhist monks residing in the
Sadhana
Tila Buddhist Temple
and indigenous peoples living
around the Buddhist temple to leave in order to settle over 800 illegal plain
settlers' families.


As indigenous Jumma peoples refused to comply, trucks
and jeeps load of illegal settlers have been coming to Sadhana Tila and cutting
the jungle around the Buddhist temple for constructing houses under the
protection and command of the Bangladesh army and police personnel.


On 23 August 2007 at about 5 pm, a group of
illegal settlers broke into the temple boundary and began cutting tress and
shrubs belonging to the temple. When the Jumma villagers protested, the army and
the police falsely accused the Buddhist monks of possessing arms and wanted to
search the temple. A violent confrontation between the Jummas and the illegal
settlers was narrowly prevented after the intervention of Union Council
Chairman, Mr Paritosh Chakma.


II. Involvement of the local civilian administration and
the army


The Bangladesh Army and police personnel have been
actively involved in the land grabbing at Sadhana Tila area. The army
authorities have reportedly announced an incentive grant of Taka 50,000 for each
settler family who will be willing to settle there, in addition to Taka 1,000 as
monthly allowance. The army personnel have also reportedly threatened to stop
free food rations to those settlers who do not want to settle in Sadhana Tila
area.


Since 30 August 2007, the army personnel
themselves have been cutting jungles around Kamala Bagan
School
near Sadhana Tila
Buddhist temple. They have also stepped up patrol to provide protection to the
plain settlers.


III. Request for interventions


The situation is so grave that the possibility of a
communal riot cannot be ruled out if the indigenous peoples protest against
their eviction or destruction of their temple. The illegal plain settlers simply
have been on a riotous mood. They have been using various tactics to instigate
the indigenous peoples to protest in order to get some reasons for launching a
full-scale communal attack on the indigenous peoples.


About 81 indigenous Jumma elders such as Headmen,
Karbaris (village chief), women leaders, incumbent and former Chairmen and
members of the Union Councils submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner
of Khagrachari district on 2 September 2007 to stop the atrocities. Since
the atrocities have intensified following the visit of General Moeen U Ahmed, it
is unlikely that the Deputy Commissioner will be able to take effective
measures.


Please find the attachment for details on Situation of
CHT in Bangladesh during
State of Emergency.


Kapaeeng Watch appeals to influence Government of
Bangladesh for stopping land grabbing and settlement programme of Bangali
settlers in CHT, south-eastern part of Bangladesh.


LV :
Emergency gears up ethnic cleansing in CHT, Bangladesh


The present military-backed Caretaker Government of
Bangladesh of Dr. Fakruddin Ahmed imposes the State of Emergency in the country
amid conflict political situation on 12 January 2007. Under the state of
emergency, the Joint Forces led by military forces are conducting drive against
the corrupt politicians, businessmen and godfathers. As part of this drive, a
few godfathers and corrupt leaders of last four-party alliance government have
been arrested in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). However the military forces
have been using the state of emergency with a different motive in case of
indigenous peoples in CHT. Basically it has been used to suppress the voice of
indigenous Jumma people of CHT.


While the military-backed Caretaker Government has
continued its crackdown on corrupt politicians much to the relief of the common
citizens, the government forces in CHT are hugely misusing the emergency power
equating corrupt Bengali politicians and businessmen with the Jumma rights
defenders. The military forces are using the emergency rules to unleash sweeping
political repression against indigenous Jumma peoples including two Jumma
political parties Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and United
People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) and their front
organisations.


On the other, though present Caretaker Government
undertook various vital initiatives that are most crucial and urgent for
national interest, such as, drive against corruption, separation of judiciary
from the executive and amendment of relevant laws for the same within a few
months, re-constitution of Anti-Corruption Commission, Election Commission and
Public Service Commission, but no initiative has yet been taken for
implementation of the CHT Peace Accord by the Caretaker government. Rather, by
taking the advantage of the state of emergency, the military forces have
increased anti-Accord activities, such as, forcible occupation of indigenous
Jumma people’s land, settlement of Bengali Muslim families to outnumbering
indigenous and setting up new camp to support them, strengthening of extreme
communal forces through Sama Odhikar Andolan and nomination of them to Hill
District Councils (HDCs), trying to replace Bengali members of CHT Regional
Council (CHTRC) with extremist leaders of Sama Odhikar Andolan (Equal Right
Movement) etc.


A. Arrest, detention and torture of indigenous
activists


While the ongoing crackdown on the corrupt politicians
across the country is a commendable job, the arrest of the members of the ethnic
Jumma organisaitons who are fighting for their just rights cannot be acceptable.
There is wide apprehension that the government agencies may misuse the emergency
powers to arrest the ethnic Jumma rights activists in the Chittagong Hill
Tracts. Particularly the government forces have targeted the indigenous Jumma
activists including members of the PCJSS. To materialise their allegation, the
government forces have been showing arm recovery from arrestees' possession
putting their (army) arm and hence lodging false arm case against them. Since
the promulgation of the State of Emergency, at least 2 innocent villagers have
been killed and 50 indigenous activists have been arrested by the government
forces. Among them, PCJSS claims at least 20 members and UPDF claims at least 10
members have been arrested. In addition, it has also been reported that at least
20 innocent Jummas including public representatives, women and villagers have
also been held. Please annexure for list of arrested activists.


Filing false cases
against arrestees and punishing them


Allegations have been received
that most of them have been arrested putting arms and ammunitions by the army.
They all are falsely charged not only for keeping illegal arms and ammunitions,
but also for extortion, kidnapping, killing etc. In some cases, the cases have
been filed under section 16(b) of the Emergency Power Rules of 2007 which
restricts release on bail to accused during the enquiry, investigation and trial of
the case.


Among the arrested activists
(please see annexure), Mr. Satyabir Dewan, General Secretary of PCJSS, Mr.
Ranglai Mro, mouza Headman and UP Chairman, Mr. Bikram Marma, President of PCJSS
Kaptai branch and Sai Mong Marma, Organising Secretary of PCJSS Kaptai branch
have been punished 17 years imprisonment for each. The statements of complainant
and witnesses have been studied by the reporter that the statements of
complainer and witnesses against them given to the court were contradictory to
the statements of the case submitted to the police station, but the punishment
was declared. One of lawyers of Satyabir Dewan said that military forces led
Major Yasin from Rangamati brigade verbally ordered the judges of the Chittagong judge court to
declare punishment to all the cases filed against indigenous activists.


Relatives of both arrested
activists said that they have been arrested putting arms by the military forces
from their residence. Mr. Polo Dewan, son of Satyabir Dewan confirmed that he
witnessed putting a country-made pipe-gun under his bed by an army person as he
was at the room at that time. He said that he protested against it. But the army
threatened to arrest him too.


On the other, Tanindra Lal
Chakma, central member of PCJSS was arrested in connection with false extortion
case filed by Md. Fuyad Hussain, Manager of Grameen Bank of Babuchara branch
with Dighinala police station. Wife of Tatindra Lal Chakma claimed that the
government forces compelled Md. Fuyad Hussain to file this case against her
husband. However, as Mrs. Chakma said, her husband was granted bail in June 2007
as complainant denied before court to have involvement of Mr. Chakma with this
extortion. Again, Mrs. Chakma also claimed that bail of her husband was
cancelled on 23 July 2007 as Md. Fuyad Hussain again withdrawn his statement due
to tremendous pressure from military. Md. Fuyad Hussain did not agree to talk on
this issue with this reporter. Mrs. Chakma also confirmed that two cases falsely
charging for killing have also been filed against her husband with Dighinala
police station on 2 August 2007. Mr. Tatindra Lal is veteran ex-combatant and
competent organiser.


One of false cases is arm case against Mr.
Shaktipada Tripura and Bholash Tripura filed on 14 June 2007. It is reported on
that day the Joint Forces conducted massive raid house of Mr. Shaktipada
Tripura, Organising Secretary of central committee of PCJSS. His wife informed
that during the raid, military forces searched the house, but found nothing and
hence left the house. However, they came back after few minutes. They again
encircled the house and declared themselves to recovery a country-made gun from
back of the house. The military picked up Mr. Bholash Tripura, Finance Secretary
of Khagrachari district branch of Hill Student Council, from the house. Two
cases for keeping illegal arms and foreign currency were filed against
Shaktipada Tripura and Bholash Tripura with Khagrachari police station. Bholash
Tripura was also shown arrest under section of 16(b) of Emergency Power Rules of
2007. Shaktipada who are also vocal traditional leader (Headman) in Khagrachari
was compelled to leave his place for avoiding arrest.


Brutal torture on
arrestees indiscriminately is a must


Complaint has also been
received that during the custody of the government forces and remand, most
arrested activists have been brutally tortured and harassed. Mr. Ranglai Mro,
for example, has been tortured inhumanly at army camp. It is learnt that due to
serious condition, the police of Bandarban police station did not agree to
receive him while army tried to hand over to them at late night of 23 February.
At the last, he was admitted to Bandarban district hospital by the joint forces
and transferred to Chittagong Medical College hospital later. Mr. Mro has been
targeted as he has been raising voice against the eviction of the local people
including indigenous Mro families in the name of the expansion of Ruma
cantonment.


Similarly, the relatives of the
victims also confirmed that arrested activists, namely, Sai Mong Marma, Nagor
Chakma, Sumit Chakma, Bholash Tripura were brutally
tortured during army custody.


Two killed during
emergency


An innocent villager Suresh
Mohan Chakma (40) died after severe military torture in Ghilachari of Rangamati
district. It has been reported that on 3 March 2007 a group of army personnel
from Ghilachari camp under Naniachar Thana raided the house of Suresh Mohan
Chakma s/o Phedera Chakma in the village of Choichari. The victim was groaning with
high fever with an intravenous drip set up when the arrest was made. However,
the army provided no rationale for the arrest nor showed any warrant. After the
arrest Mr. Chakma was taken to the camp and was severely beaten. He was released
after three days on 6 March. The next day he died as a direct result of the
torture.


Mr.
Rasel Chakma s/o Paritosh Chakma of west Dewan Para under Naniarchar
sub-district in Rangamati district was killed during the custody of security
forces. He was arrested on 5 August 2007 from his house by the military forces.
Security forces said that he was killed by heart attack. The dead body was taken
to Rangamati hospital for post-mortem. Dr. Amal Chakma transferred the dead body
to Chittagong Medical hospital for post-mortem, as there is no similarity
between the statements of the security forces and wounds of the dead body. Rasel
Chakma might be killed due to brutal of the security forces. See Bengali
national daily Prothom Ali, 7 August 2007 for reference.


Pressure on indigenous activists does not stop after arrest
and detention


In
fact, pressure on indigenous activists does not stop by arresting and sending
detention of their leaders, the government forces are putting pressure on the
indigenous activists who are yet not arrested to give up raising voice against
military and Bengali settlers including resignation from their respective
organisation. Among other, Shuva Mangal Chakma, PCJSS leader and Chairman of
Kengrachari Union confirmed that due to tremendous pressure of Bilaichari army
zone he signed on a paper where contained that he would not continue work with
PCJSS and give up politics and would be liable if any crime, such as, extortion,
kidnapping etc is happened. Similarly indigenous activists including public
representatives and PCJSS members in Rangamati and Khagrachari districts have
been compelled by the military to sign on such paper.


It
is also reported that in May 2007 Zone Commander of Jurachari army camp of 8
Bengal under Kaptai brigade is also organizing
public meeting with the indigenous people where he speaks against the indigenous
activists, particularly PCJSS leadership. He is also threatening indigenous
people and permanent Bengali residents to face severe consequences if they would
continue supports to the PCJSS and other indigenous
activists.


Mr.
Biplab Tripura, General Secretary of PCJSS Khagrachari branch said to this
reporter that the military is pressuring on PCJSS leaders of Tripura community
to leave PCJSS and to compromise with military; otherwise they would be faced
cases like Shaktipada Tripura and Bholash Tripura. Mrinal Tripura, Sudhakar
Tripura, Braja Tripura etc are of Tripura activists who are under tremendous
military pressure. They all are vocal for indigenous cause in
CHT.


False cases are also being lodged against the indigenous
activists so that they compel to leave their work area or to go hiding with an
aim to destroy leadership or to make leadership vacuum among the indigenous
peoples. Mangal Kanti Chakma (32), Chairman of local Union Parishad (UP) and
PCJSS leader in Longadu sub-district told to this reporter that a case for
extortion and kidnapping against 14 activists including himself and Laxmi Prasad
Chakma, Vice President of PCJSS was filed with Longadu police station by Rup
Kumar Chakma from Jurachari sub-district on 22 June 2007. He said that Rup Kumar
Chakma is well known army informer in Rangamati. Mr. Mangal Kanti is of opinion
that this case is nothing but repression and harassment on indigenous activists
in order to suppress their voices.


B. Land grabbing and settlement of Bengali families
increased


The military authority is
charged with whipping up of communal violence against the Jumma people. Again,
the military authority is aiding, abetting and instigating the Bengali Muslim
settlers for the forcible occupation of more and more Jumma peoples’ land. Even
the military authority itself is acquisitioning more and more Jumma’s land on
one pretext or another. The Jumma people have no redress against this injustice.
Further the military authority still receives over 10,000 metric tons of food
grains every year for Pacification Programme to rehabilitate more and
more Bengali Muslim settlers to turn CHT region into Muslim-majority region.


It is reported, for instance, that last June 2007, the
military forces settled down at least 200 families of Bengali settlers at
Dantkupya village under Khagrachari sub-district evicting 12 families of
indigenous people from their traditional land. Mr. Prithwiraj Chakma, a villager
of Dantkupya said to this report writer that a camp was set up on his land on 8
March 2007 by the military forces of 32 Bengal
in order to provide security to the settler families. He also confirmed that the
General Commanding Officer (GOC) of 24th infantry division of
Chittagong
cantonment visited the camp on 29 July 2007 for this purpose. See annexure for
details.


On the other, complain has been received from a relative of
Kabakhali mouza Headmen requesting not to be named that military forces
undertook plan to be settled about 300 families of Bengali setters at Kripapur
village under Kabakhali mouza soon. The military have already visited the places
for the same. On the other, this source also confirmed that settlement programme
is going on at Merung, Changrachari and Betchari under Dighinala sub-district
and Lemuchari and Itchari areas under Mahalchari
sub-district.


Rasamoy Chakma, one of victims of land dispossession in
Khagrachari said that from
January 2006 to June 2006 Bengali settlers
from Nunchari cluster village occupied more than 500 acres of land and built
about 300 houses on the recorded lands of the Jumma people of Gamaridhala under
Khagrachari sadar sub-district. They also occupied lands of the Bouddha
Shishughar Orphanage and Jumma villagers at Saprue Karbari Para under Mahalchari
sub-district. Every day they threatened the Jumma people for committing communal
riots.


One Priti
Marma of Khagrachari informed to this reporter that Upazila Nirbahi Officer
(sub-district executive officer) of Mahalchari sun-district directed by
Mahalchari army zone called a meeting on land disputes at his office on 5 August
2007 with representatives of both Bengali settlers and Jumma villagers. But
bypassing the demand of Jumma people, the UNO ordered the Jumma people to be
presented their land documents within a few days. Priti Marma also claimed that
there are huge traditionally occupied lands, other than recorded lands.
Traditionally occupied lands do not require to have land deed. It is mentionable that government does not formally
recognize the rights of the traditionally occupied lands. Government regards
these lands as state-owned. They are also known as Khas lands. Priti
Marma said that government forces are using State of Emergency in occupying
Jumma’s land in order to move programme of ethnic cleansing forward.


With an aim to
conduct this land grabbing and settlement programmes uninterrupted, the military
forces are forming so-called ‘Shanti Committee’ (Peace Committee) with
representatives both from Jumma and Bengali settlers in several places. Mr.
Ramani Mohan Chakma, Headman of Dantkupya mouza confirmed, for example, that
such committee was formed at Dantkupya villager in his chair. Three
representatives from each Bengali and Jumma community included as member of this
committee. One of the members requesting not to be named said that Jumma
villagers were compelled to be member of this committee. He also said that this
committee is nothing but to continue military’s work uninterrupted. He also
expressed that no Jumma people agree willingly to be member to this committee as
their lands have been seizing. On the contrary, they have option to protest
against this activity as State of Emergency is going in the country.


Meanwhile, recently in March 2007, the authority of Ruma
cantonment ordered to leave area as they acquired about 7570 acres of ancestral
land of indigenous peoples for expansion of Ruma garrison. More than 4000
indigenous family mostly belong to Mro community will loose their land due to
acquisition. Mro leaders claim local people have not been consulted before
taking land acquisition. One of the office bearer of the Movement for Protection
of Land Rights and Forest, a land rights organisation based in Rangamati,
claimed that only in Bandarban district in CHT, 40,077 acres of land were given
lease to the outsiders. In addition, a total 94,066 acres of land for so-called
afforestation and 75,686 acres for military base have already been acquired in
the same district.


On
the other, complain has been received from Mr. Chandra Lal Chakma, a PCJSS
member in Bilaichari upazila that RB Habildar Rafuque of Digholachari army zone
of 8 Bengal in Bilaishari under Rangamati
district forced him to leave his recorded grove land handing over to a Bengali
Muslim settler named Md. Abdul Aziz in May 2007. He said that Abdul Aziz has
been living on this land for years without his permission. However, Aziz
recently decided to go back to his original home district of Sylhet by selling
this land to a Bengali settler named Md. Motaleb. Receiving this information,
Mr. Chakma put objection to Bilaichari police station and one police officer
named Samiran Chakrabarty looked into the objection and declared judgment in
favour of Mr. Chakma. But Abdul Aziz took shelter to Digholachari zone
complaining that Mr. Chakma forcibly evicted his family and army of Digholachari
zone forced Mr. Chakma to hand over his land to said Bengali settler otherwise
he would be faced crossfire. Now Mr. Chakma left his home area for security
reason.


In the last week of July 2007
high military officials in Khagrachari met with District Awami League and BNP
leaders in a meeting at Brigade headquarters. Ultra communalists like Joynal
Abedin, chairman of Khagrachari
Municipality, leader of so-called Sama
Odhikar Andolon and a close aide to jailed ex-MP Abdul Waddud Bhuiyan, and
Zahedul Alam, General Secretary of Khagrachari branch of AL, among others, were
present at the meeting. They discussed the settler issue and decided to begin
settlement expansion. The military officers urged both the AL and BNP leaders to
shun mutual political bickering and work for the common interest of the Bengalis
in CHT.


C. Strengthening of the extreme nationalists and
communal organisations geared up


Military forces have also been supporting the extreme
nationalists and communal organisations in CHT to implement its policy of
Islamisation. Among others, Bangali Krishak-Shramik Kalyan Parishad (Bengali
Peasant-Labourers’ Welfare Council), Parbatya Gana Parishad (Council of Hill
Tracts People), Parbatya Bangali Chhatra Parishad (Hill Tracts Bengali Students’
Council), Parbatya Chattagram Sama Odhikar Andolan (CHT Equal Rights Movement),
Sarba Daliya Bangali Oikya Parishad (All Party Bengali United Council), Parbatya
Bangali Oikya Parishad (Hill Tracts Bengali United Council), Nagarik Forum
(Citizens’ Forum), Bengali Tigers etc. are the most active organisations in CHT.


The main activities of these organisations are to
orgnise Bengali Muslims, particularly settlers against the indigenous community,
to create communal tension in CHT and commit attack on indigenous localities, to
occupy indigenous people’s land forcibly, to oppose implementation of the CHT
Accord, to counter the activities of indigenous peoples’ organisations mainly
PCJSS and other supportive organisations etc. The Sama Odhikar Andolan (Equal
Rights Movement) is the latest extreme nationalists and communal organisation,
which was formed under the leadership of BNP’s ex-MP Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan who
have been arrested by the Joint Forces. Mr. Bhuiyan was a product of military
forces, but he sank into deep corruption, hence military forces deployed in
Khagrachari had no way to protect him. However, the military forces are still
supporting the followers of the Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan.


As part of the strengthening of the extreme nationalists
and communal organisations, military forces supported to organise district
conference of the Sama Odhikar Andolan held on 20 July 2007 at office of the
Khagrachari Contractors’ Association. Though State of Emergency does not permit
to organise such conference, but Sama Odhikar Andolan could easily do it. As per
decision, holding of sub-district level conferences and reconstitution of
sub-district committee of the Sama Odhikar Andolan are also going on
uninterrupted.


On the other, the followers of Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan have
been rehabilitated to Khagrachari Hill District Council (KHDC) nominating them
as member of this council in July 2007. The Chairman of the council, Mr.
Manindra Lal Tripura was appointed by Adbul Wadud Bhuiyan during the regime of
BNP-led coalition government. He has been kept up as chairman. The Bengali
member of the newly constituted KHDC, Md. Abu Bakar Siddique is BNP leader and
Sama Odhikar leader as well. Other three new Jumma members, namely, Mr. Animesh
Dewan, Mr. Sanu Mong Marma and Mr. Ruitoi Marma are also leaders of BNP and
beneficiaries of Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan.


D. No initiative for implementation of the CHT Peace
Accord


Since assuming to the state power by the present
Caretaker Government undertook various vital initiatives that were not addressed
by any political government, such as, drive against widespread corruption,
separation of judiciary from the executive, re-constitution of Anti-Corruption
Commission etc, but it is the Dr. Fakruddin Ahmad’s interim government who
addresses the same. Considering this, the indigenous Jumma people hoped that
this neutral Caretaker Government would start proper implementation of the CHT
Peace Accord that was also kept unimplemented by the previous political
governments. However, though 8 months have passed, no proper initiative has yet
been taken for implementation of the CHT Peace Accord by the Caretaker
government.


It is slightly signaled hope that three meetings have
been held during the present Caretaker government. But no progress has been made
to this direction. The first meeting was held in April by Dr. Iftekhar Ahmad Chowdhury, Advisor for CHT
Affairs Ministry (CHTAM) with four chairmen of CHT Regional Council and three
Hill District Councils. The 2nd meeting of Advisory Committee of CHTAM was also
held by Advisory Committee of the Ministry of CHT
Affairs at his office. It is reported that development activities of the CHT,
implementation of the CHT Peace Accord and other issues were discussed in the
meeting, but no concrete decision has been taken in the meeting. Indigenous
people in CHT claim that the meeting was nothing but
eyewash.


Besides, another meeting of the Task Force on rehabilitation of the returnee tribal refugee
and internally tribal displaced families was also held at circuit house of
Khagrachari district, chaired by Mr. Samiron Dewan, Chairman of the Task Force
on 3 June 2007. But no decision or discussion has been made on rehabilitation of
the internally Jumma displaced persons who are living in miserable
condition.


On the contrary, the government curtailed
at least one-third budget of CHT Regional Council, an apex body of the special
administrative arrangement for CHT. Now CHT Regional Council is facing financial
crises to run its activities.


The indigenous people of CHT demanded proper
implementation of the CHT Peace Accord to the Caretaker Government. Recently in
the programme organised on occasion of international day of world’s indigenous
peoples in Dhaka, participants and speakers
both among from civil society of mainstream people and indigenous peoples again
raised demand for implementation of the Accord. They are of opinion that this is
Caretaker Government who could implement the Accord like other crucial issues,
such as, drive against the corruption, separation of judiciary from the
executive, re-constitution of Anti-Corruption Commission etc.


However, they claimed that the military forces are still
reluctant to implement the Accord. The military authority continues to be final
policy making and law enforcing authority in the CHT like as before during the
political government. Anti-Accord attitude of the military forces is the main
challenge in implementing the Accord.


Appeal:


Like widespread corruption,
terrorism and abuse of power in Bangladesh, the CHT problem as well
as non-implementation of the CHT Peace Accord is also a crucial national problem
in the country. For the sake of good governance and rules of law in the CHT,
implementation of the CHT Peace Accord is a must. Without proper and speedy
implementation of the CHT Peace Accord, a congenial atmosphere for free, fair
and impartial election could not be ensured in the region. In order to resolve
CHT problem through political and peaceful means and to create a favourable
atmosphere for free and fair election, international community should influence
present Caretaker Government of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Military Forces
to:


1.
start initiative for speedy implementation of the CHT Accord that
paves the way for the peace and development in the
region;


2.
prepare voter list of the region only
with the permanent residents of CHT as per CHT Peace Accord and allow to enter
international observers in CHT during the preparation of voter lists and
election as well;


3.
stop military atrocity and harassment
on the indigenous peoples’ activists and withdraw the cases filed against them,
and release them immediately;


4.
stop settlement programme of Bengali
settlers and land grabbing and return back them to their cluster villages until
and unless land disputes are resolved through land
commission.


===============================


This report has been prepared by Kapaeeng Watch in
August 2007. E--mail address: kapaeeng.watch@micico.ch, kapaeeng.watch@gmail.com




Annexure


Arrested:


Since the promulgation of the State of Emergency, at least one
innocent villager has been killed and 50 indigenous activists have been arrested
by the government forces. Among them, at least 20 members of PCJSS have been
arrested. In addition, it has also been reported that at least 20 innocent
Jummas including public representatives, women and villagers have also been
held. Some of arrested activists are identified as
follows:






































































































































































Sl.


Name and address


Designation


Date of arrest & jail now
staying


Description of case


State of case and jail
staying


1.


Bikram
Marma,


Chandraghona Christian Missionary Hospital,


Kaptai
upazila


President of
PCJSS, Kaptai upazila branch


04/02/07,


Chittagong jail


Case with
Chandraghona police station, section- 19(a)(f) of Arms Act
1878


Sentenced 17
years imprisonment by Chittong judge court declared in July
2007.


2.


Sumit
Chakma


Jurachari,


Rangamati


Assistant
General Secretary (AGS) of PCP, Rangamati district
branch


06/02/07,


Rangamati
jail



Case is
running


3.


Sai Mong
Marma,


s/o Abu Mong
Marma,


Raikhali,


Chandraghona
area,


Kaptai
upazila


Organising
Secretary, Kaptai upazila branch of PCJSS


11/02/07,


Chittagong jail


GR no. 25/07,
Chandraghona police station, section- 19(a)(f) of Arms Act
1878


Sentenced 10
years imprisonment by Chittagong judge court declared in July
2007


4.


Satyabir
Dewan (56)


s/o Hira Lal
Dewan,


Balpiya Adam,


Rangamati Town


General
Secretary of PCJSS


18/02/07,


Rangamati
jail


1. Case no. 6 of Kotowali police station dated
18-02-2007, section 19(a)(f) of Arm Act of 1878 for keeping illegal
arm;


2. Case no. 1 of Jurachari police station dated
01-12-2006, section 364/34 of BPC for killing;


3. Case no. 12 of Kotowali police station dated
25-02-2007, section 25(b) of SPA 1974 for keeping illegal foreign
coin;


4. Case no. 9 of Kotowali police station dated
29-01-2007, section 302/34 of BPC for killing;


5. Case no. 1 of Naniarchar police station dated
12-06-2006, section 326/307/34 of BPC for attempt to murder


Sentenced 17
years imprisonment by Chittagong judge court declared in July
2007 for arm case in June 2007 and other cases is
running.


5.


Bimal Kanti
Chakma (50)


s/o Dhirendra
Lal Chakma,


Banjogichara,


Jurachari
upazial


Central
Member of PCJSS


18/02/07,


Rangamati
jail


Section-
364/302/34 of BPC for killing after kidnap


Case is
running.


6.


Ranjit Kumar
Dewan (50)


s/o Satyandra
Nath Dewan


Banjogichara,


Jurachari
upazila


President of
Jurachari upazila branch of PCJSS


18/02/07,
Rangamati jail


Section-
364/302/34 of BPC for killing after kidnap


Case is
running


7.


Udayjoy
Chakma (47)


s/o
Chandrajoy Chakma,


Ghilatali,


Jurachari
upazila


General
Secretary of Jurachari upazila branch of PCJSS


18/02/07,


Rangamati
jail


Section-
364/302/34 of BPC for killing after kidnap


Case is
running


8.


Mayachan
Chakma (46)


s/o Kshirode
Ranjan Chakma,


Banjogichara,


Jurachari
upazila


Orgamising
Secretary of Jurachari upazila branch of PCJSS


18/02/07,


Rangamati
jail


Section-
364/302/34 of BPC for killing after kidnap


Case is
running


9.


Ranglai Mro
(45),


Ujanai
Para,


Bandarban Town


Chairman of
Sualok union council and headman of Sualok mouza


23/02/07,


Chittagong jail


Arms case
with BAndarban police station


Sentenced 17
years imprisonment by Chittagong judge court declared in July
2007 for arm case in June 2007.


10.


Balabhadra Chakma alias
Pranjal (45)


s/o Kalendra
Chakma,


College
Tilla,


Dighinala
upazila


Vice
President of Dighinala upazila branch


05/03/07,


granted
bail


Case no. 2 of
Dighinala police station dated 06-03-2007, section 385/507 of
BPC


Case is
running


11.


Manubha
Ranjan Chakma (47)


s/o Sudhir
Chandra Dewan,


Karengatali,


Baghaichari
upazila


President of
Baghaichari upazila branch of PCJSS


05/03/07,


Khagrachari
jail


Case no. 6,
dated 15/02/07 of Dighinala police station, section- 326/307/302/34 of BPC
and


Case no. GR
37/2007, section 302 of BPC, and case no. 49/2007, section 307/34 of
BPC


Case is
running


12.


Tatindra Lal
Chakma alias Pele (55),


Khagrachari Town


Central
Committee member of PCJSS


05/05/07,


Khagrachari
jail


1.
Case with Dighinala
police station, section- 385/386 BPC


2.
Case under section-
16(2) of Emergency Power Act 2007


Case is
running


13.


Nagor Chakma
(31)


s/o Sudhir
Chandra Chakma,


Baradam,


Dighinala
upazila


Businessman


05/05/07,
Khagrachari jail


Case with
Dighinala police station, section- 385/386 BPC


Case is
running


14.


Amar Jiban
Chakma (36),


Rangamati


Chairman of
Ghilachari union parishad


07/05/07,


Rangamati
jail


Fake currency
and drug case with Naniarchar police station


Case is
running


15.


Santoshita
Chakma alias Bakul,


s/o Sidhir
Chandra Chakma,


Mahajan
Para,


Khagrachari Town


General
Secretary of CHT Returnee Jumma Refugee Welfare
Association


03/06/07,


Khagrachari
jail


1.
GD no. 138 dated
03/06/07 of Khagrachari police station, Section- 16(2) of Emergency Power
Act 2007


2.
Case no. 6, dated
15/02/07, section- 326/307/302/34 BPC


Case is
running


16.


Bholash
Tripura,


s/o Jamaddar
Tripura,


Khagrapur,


Khagrachari


Finance Secretary of Khagrachari
district branch of PCP


14/06/07,


Khagrachari
jail


Case with
Khagrachari police station, section- 19(a) of Arms Act, keeping illegal
arms


Case is
running


17.


Fattua Chakma
alias Jangi


a returnee
member of PCJSS


16/06/07,


Rangamati
jail


GR-179/07 of Longadu police station, dated
22-06-07, Section- 365/386/34 BPC, kidnapping and collection of ransom and


Case with
Kotowali police station, Section- 364/302/34 for killing after
kidnap


Case is
running


18.


Runtu
Chakma


Member of
Khagrachari upazila branch, PCJSS


18/07/07,


Khagrachari
jail


Arms
case


Case is
running


19.


Saprue Marma
(70)


s/o Niche
Marma


Fasya Mahajan
Para,


Maischari
union,


Mahalchari
upazila


Villager


10/020/07,
Khagrachari jail




20.


Mongshe Marma
(32)


s/o Chai Prue
Marma


Fasya Mahajan
Para,


Maischari
union,


Mahalchari
upazila


Villager


10/020/07,


Khagrachari
jail




21.


Ripon Chakma
from Noa Bazaar of Batnatoli of Manikchari
upazila


UPDF
activist


May 07
2007,


Khagrachari
jail




22.


Milton Chakma
from Chengi
Bridge
in Khagrachari
town


UPDF
leader


29 May
2007,


Khagrachari
jail






False case lodged:



At least 100 activists including PCJSS workers have been
compelled to leave home areas for security reason. The following activists are
identified against whom case was filed:
































































































Sl.


Name of the
activists


Address


Description of
case


1.


Shaktipada Tripura


Khagrapur,


Khagrachari


Case with Khagrachari police station, section-
19(a) of Arms Act, keeping illegal arms


2.


Laxmi Prasad Chakma


s/o Satyabrata Chakma


Kalyanpur,


Rangamati


1.
GR-179/07 of Longadu
police station, dated 22-06-07, Section- 365/386/34 BPC, kidnapping and
collection of ransom and


2.
Case with Kotowali
police station, Section- 364/302/34 for killing after
kidnap


3.


Hitoshi Chakma (40)


Balpiya Adam,


Rangamati


GR-179/07 of Longadu police station, dated
22-06-07, Section- 365/386/34 BPC, kidnapping and collection of
ransom


4.


Sahan Chakma (43)


TTC Area,


Rangamati


-do-


5.


Sukhamoy Chakma (40)


s/o Jagadish Chakma


Hemachandra Para,


Longadu


-do-


6.


Mangal Kanti Chakma (32)


UP Chairman


Longadu


-do-


7.


Nirode Ranjan Chakma (Raktim)
(52)


Harikata,


Longadu


-do-


8.


Nirmal Kanti Chakma (32)


s/o Dinaram Chakma


Jurachari


-do-


9.


Prabartak Chakma (45)


s/o Sudhabar Chakma


Jurachari


-do-


10.


Suresh Kumar Chakma (43)


Chairman, Banjogichara
UP


Jurachari


-do-


11.


Sindhu Priya Chakma (30)


s/o Bishnu Chakma


Jurachari


-do-


12.


Ritan Chakma (28)


Jurachari


-do-


13.


Ashapurna Chakma (42)


TTC
Road
,


Rangamati


-do-


14.


Tribindu Chakma


s/o Fulkamal Chakma


Aimachara,


Barkal


Section- 364/302/34 of BPC for killing after
kidnap


15.


Utpal Chakma


s/o Birasen Chakma


Aimachara,


Barkal


-do-


16.


Jayanta Lal Chakma


s/o Khamar Chakma


Madyam Balukhali,


Jurachari


-do-


17.


Kenon Babu Dewan


s/o Jatindra Dewan


Ghilatali,


Jurachari


-do-




Land Grabbing



Among the 52 affected families of Dantkupya mouza under
Khagrachari sadar sub-district whose lands have been occupied by the Bengali
settlers, the following owners have been identified:






















































































Sl.


Name and father’s
name


Land in
acre


Remarks


1.


Prithwiraj Chakma s/o late Mahesh Chandra
Chakma


4.0


New camp setup


2.


Jnana Kumar Chakma s/o
unknown


4.5


Nearby camp


3.


Binota Ranjan Dewan s/o late Bijoy Chandra
Dewan


4.0


Nearby camp


4.


Kanti Bhushan Dewan s/o
Sadhan Chandra Dewan


4.5


Nearby camp


5.


Shanti Ranjan Dewan s/o late Punyasen
Dewan


5.0


Nearby camp


6.


Sukhini Kumar Chakma s/o Sadhan Mani
Chakma


5.0


Nearby camp


7.


Sama Ratan Chakma s/o Kista Kishore
Chakma


5.0


Nearby camp


8.


Nabarun Dewan s/o Punongchan
Dewan


3.0


Nearby camp


9.


Binoy Krishna Chakma s/o Kalachan
Chakma


5.0


Nearby camp


10.


Trishankar Dewan s/o
Promade Bilas Dewan


4.0


Nearby camp


11.


Dina Dayal Dewan s/o Jatin Bilas
Dewan


5.0


Nearby camp


12.


Kshetra Mohan Chakma s/o
unknown


4.5


Nearby camp


13.


Jodu Mani Chakma s/o unknown


3.5


Nearby camp


14.


Priya Mani Chakma s/o
unknown


6.8


Nearby camp


15.


Panna Dulal Chakma
s/o Barada Chakma


5.0


Nearby
camp




Among the 52 affected families of Lemuchari and Badanal
villages of Lemuchari mouza under Mahalchari sub-district whose lands have been
occupied by the Bengali settlers, the following owners have been
identified:


































































Sl.


Name of the original
owner


Land in
acre


Land occupied
by


1.


Bana Bihari Chakma


s/o Ram Muni Chakma


R-52,


4.0
acres


1. Raushan Ali


2. Aizal


3. Naher


4. Salu and others


2.


Jayanta Kumar Chakma


s/o Mam Muni Chakma


R-35,


5.0
acres


1. Alauddin


2. Naruddin


3. Kamal s/o Kuddus
Mistri


3.


Amrita Lal Talukdar


s/o Ananda Talukdar


4.0
acres


1. Kabel Bhuiyan, 2. Ful
Mian


3. Ahamad,
4. Ibrahim s/o Akkel Ali


5. Danish Munsi


4.


Jogesh Lal Chakma


s/o Chanmuni Chakma


--


1. Latif


2. Shahjalal


3. Saber Ali


5.


Nishi Muni Chakma


s/o Ramkamal Chakma


R-65,


3.0
acres


1. Molla


2. Mozammel s/o Molla


3. Arnish PC


4. Majid s/o Molla


5. Abul and others


6.


Juddha Muni Chakma


s/o Ramkamal Chakma


5.0
acres


1. Azim Dokandar, 2. Jahurul
Islam


3. Chamesh,
4. Kamal Member


5. Kabi Ahmad


7.


Jiban Ratna Chakma


s/o Ramkamal Chakma


--


1. Abul Leader, 2. Azal
Darhi


3. Joynal and others


8.


Siringya Chakma


s/o Purna Mazi Chakma


--


Army camp


9.


Kinaram Chakma


s/o Kadamba Chakma


--


Army camp


10.


Kalachoga Chakma


s/o Ratna Muni Chakma


--


Army camp


11.


Dhana Bihari Chakma


s/o Ram Muni Chakma


R-55,


3.0
acres


Settlers



7 October 2007


1 comment:

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