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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Report on Attack on PCJSS members by armed group of UPDF

Report submitted by:
PCJSS(Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
Kalyanpur, Rangamati-450000, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Tel+Fax: +880-351-61248

PCJSS member killed by UPDF

On 23 May 2009 a local PCJSS leader named Mr. Rubel Chakma (30) was chopped to death by the UPDF cadres at Subhalong Bazar area of Subhalong union under Barkal upazila in Rangamati district.According to eyewitnesses and relatives of victim, on that day at 3.45 p.m. Rubel Chakma was playing with card with some friends on the north side of Subhalong Bazar near by forest office under a tree. At that time Rubel Chakma was chopped to death with a sharp weapon from his behind. At once the miscreant ran away. The family members and eyewitnesses said the attacker was a UPDF’s armed cadre.

PCJSS leader abducted by UPDF in Barkal

On 5th June 2009, Mr. Kamalendu Bikash Dewan (47), s/o Murolya Dewan, president of Barkal union committee of PCJSS was abducted by UPDF armed cadres at about 7:00 p.m. from his own house of Kusumchhari Mukh area of Barkal union under Barkal upazila in Rangamati district. It is known that a group of armed cadres of UPDF led by Pahr (Prakhar) Chandra Chakma (43) of Kusumchhari Mukh area raided the Kusumchhari Mukh area and abducted Kamalendu Bikash Dewan at gun point and at that time, other three innocent villagers were also beat by UPDF cadres.

PCP and PCJSS activists abducted by UPDF in Rangamati

On 7 June 2009 two members of PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti) and PCP (Hill Students Council) were abducted by the armed cadres of UPDF from Dhalyachhari village under Jibtali union of Rangamati sadar upazila in Rangamati district.
The abducted persons were identified as and Bijimoni Chakma (35), member of Jibtali union committee of PCJSS and Mr. Sunirmal Dewan (28), president of Jibtali union committee of PCP.A group of armed cadres of UPDF numbering 12 led by one Tapan Kumar Chakma raided the office of local timber traders of Dhalyachhari at around 4:30 P.M and picked up the above said members of PCJSS and PCP at gun point.

A Buddhist Zadi plundered in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazaar district

Picture (Courtesy: Kapaeeng Foundation): The above picture depicts the plundered remains of Buddhist Xadi at Teknaf.

Report Submitted by:
Kapaeeng Foundation

On 13 June at night an ancient Zadi situated on top of Nilla Bazaar hill has been broken. Nilla is 12 miles north of Teknaf (Kayoukchoung) in the district of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. It is not yet known whether it was an act of zealotry or was it merely plundered in search of treasure. Buddhist community from Teknaf visited the site the following morning on June 13, 2009. They found one of the Zadi partly broken having being dug from underneath the gu entrance. Some pictures are attached herewith. There are three Zadi on top of the hill and the biggest one has been found plundered. These Zadis could be seen clearly as we travel on road from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf and also from the Burma side of river Naff that divide the two countries. The houses nearby that you will see in the pictures are the illegal Kala encroachments that they had settled not without the support of the local muscle men and goons. The local Buddhist community there in Nilla is very small (microscopic in act) in number and their faint voices could hardly reach the top helm of the Bangladesh government.

This News Release has been prepared in accordance with the report of Ven. U Bodhinyana, Teknaf.

Adivasi village burnt-down in Porsha upazila of Naogaon district

Report submitted by:
Kapaeeng Foundation

On 12th June 2009, the land-grabbers attacked an Adivasi village at Porsha upazila of Naogaon district and burnt-down 74 houses. At least four hundred people assembled with grievous weapons under the leadership of one Nur Hossain Master and his son Nazrul Haque and attacked village Khatirpur Upar-Sonadanga in Chhaor union. The piece of land at the centre of dispute is a 18 bigha plot owned by two Santal brothers Chotka Mardi and Turka Mardi both of whom left for India during a communal tension a few years ago while their family members stayed back. Now Nur Hossain claims that they sold the land to him and want their nephew, Mr. Jerta Mardi alias Bondhon of village Kusumkunda, to get the permission of Adivasi land transfer done from the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Jerta Mardi refused to do that and Nur Hossain threatened to kill him by running a car over him.Being threatened, Jerta Mardi raised the matter with local leaders like Azizul Islam, Mozibur Rahman, Ruhul Amin, Keram Uddin and Eshahak Ali and many others besides their own community leaders. The Bengali social leaders suggested the Adivasis to begin to live on the plot in order to keep the land under their possession. Accordingly, 56 Adivasi families settled down there and also allowed 18 landless Bengali families to reside there. Nur Hossain hired lathials from Gomastapur and tried to evict them on that day. Adivasis also tried to protect themselves with bows and arrows but they were overpowered. Police stood silent half a kilometer away and only moved in when every household, Adivasi and Bengali, was torched and looted. Many were critically injured including Sutar Kisku (45), Suren Murmu (35), Biswanath Hembram (28), Rajina Hasdak (32), Hosne Ara (32), Mosrefa and Deljan (70).
This News Release prepared in accordance with the report of Mesbah Kamal, Spokesperson, Adivasi Coalition.

Clash between Jumma and Bengali settlers in Ramgarh

Report submitted by:
PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
Kalyanpur, Rangamati-450000, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Tel+Fax: +880-351-61248

On 14 June 2009 clash between Jumma villagers and Bengali settlers occurred at Jalia Para under Ramgarh upazila in Khagrachari district. It is learnt that Bengali settlers from Jalia Para cluster village have been trying to occupy the land of Jumma villagers at Baroitali area of Baroitali mouza and Hafchari union under Ramgarh upazila. Baroitali area is around 8 kms far from Jalia Para cluster village. Very recently on 7th June Bengali settlers cleaned the scrubs and erected at least 15 houses. Again 14 th June early in the morning, a group of Bengali settlers numbering around 70 persons went to the area and started to build houses. But the Jumma villagers opposed them to construct houses. At a stage, clash between two groups started and at least 10 Bengali settlers were injured in the clash. They were admitted to Guimara hospital.
Soon after receiving this news, Bengali settlers of Jalia Para and Guimara cluster made attack on innocent Jumma people indiscriminately at Jalia Para area on Khagrachari-Chittagong road.
Sources said that five Marma rickshaw pullers were beat by the Bengali settlers at Jalia Para area. Among them, two injured rickshaw pullers were identified as Thoihla Prue Marma (35), s/o Aungyajai Marma of Labrechai Headman Para of Guimara union and Apruesi Marma (35), s/o Remrachai Marma of Lubre Para of Guimara.
It is reported that Dhanadas Tripura (21), s/o Sukumar Tripura of Sindhukchari village of Sindhukchari union under Mahalchari upazila was brutally beaten by a group of Bengali settlers with firewood and iron rod when he (Mr. Tripura) reached there. However, he could narrowly escape. He was seriously wounded.
Bengali settlers from Jalia Para and Guimara cluster gathered to attack the Jumma villagers of Baroitali area. However, the military forces resisted them from the attack. On the other, Mr. Jatindra Lal Tripura, MP from Khagrachari district and Chairman of the Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Jumma Refugees and IDPs called both communities to refrain any retaliation.
It is also learnt that most of the Jumma villagers nearby Jalia Para area took shelter into the remote Jumma villages fearing further attack.
It is mentionable that in 1981-82 Government settled down Bengali settler families who were brought from plain districts and gave land deed without taking approval of Headman of Baghaichari mouza. Due to military attack by the then Shanti Bahini, Bengali settlers were closed to cluster village near army camp. However, since 2000 Bengali settlers started to occupy these lands in different parts of the CHT. With this backdrop, on 1 March 2001 Ministry of CHT Affairs (MoCHTA) issued an office order prohibiting expansion of settlement and asking both Jumma and Bengali settlers to maintain status quo until and unless the disputes are resolved by Land Commission to be formed as per CHT Accord.

A Jumma youth shot in Rangamati

n 13 June 2009 around 8.00 p.m. a Jumma youth named Kallol Chakma (23), s/o Prabhat Chakma of Banarupa in Rangamati town was shot by unidentified miscreants at Samataghat under Banarupa area. It is learnt that Mr. Kallol Chakma is a drug addicted. Locals said that this incident might be happened due to conflict among the drug addicted. Locals claimed that Kallol Chakma has been leading a drug addicted group in this area for long time. An armed clash among the drug addicted youths was happened at the same on 2 May 2009 where Mr. Rani Chakma and Sajal Chakma were injured.

Kalpana abduction investigation and punishment of the kidnappers demanded

Report submitted by:

PCJSS(Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
Kalyanpur, Rangamati-450000,
Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Tel+Fax: +880-351-61248

13th years after the abduction of Kalpana Chakma

Publication of report on Kalpana abduction investigation and punishment of the kidnappers demanded

On 12 June 2009 Parbatya Chattagram Mohilla Samiti (PCMS) and Hill Women’s Federation (HWF) called for publication of the full report on Kalpana abduction investigation and punishment of the kidnappers. PCMS and HWF jointly organized demonstration in protest of the abduction of Kalpana Chakma simultaneously in Rangamati and Dhaka.

Rangamati: A protest gathering was organised by PCMS and HWF at outer Stadium in Rangamati. Presided over by President of PCMS Ms. Madhabi Lata Chakma, the protest gathering was attended by Political Affairs Secretary of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) Ushatan Talukder as chief guest. Among others, Parvin Akhter of Samajtantrik Mahila Forum, Hamid Meer of Chittagong University, Jyoti Prava Chakma of PCMS, Udayan Tripura of Pahari Chhatra Parisahd, Advocate Juhel Dewan of BLAST Rengamati unit, Mr. Sukhamoy Rava of Assamese Welfare Council addressed in the gathering.

Speakers said that soldiers had picked Kalpana Chakma up from her home in Baghaichhari upazila in Rangamati on the night of June 12, 2006 and she never came back. The then Awami League-government, which later signed a treaty with the PCJSS to end the decades-long conflict in the hills, turned a blind eye to her kidnapping during its tenure between 1996 and 2001. In response to protests by the Jumma people and members of the civil society who wanted Kalpana Chakma to be returned to her family, the government formed a committee to investigate the incident. The committee submitted a report, but the government never made it public. A procession was brought out from Stadium to Banarupa after the public gathering.

Dhaka: PCMS and HWF organized a human chain in protest of the abduction of Kalpana Chakma in front of national museum at Shahbag in Dhaka.

Different organization including Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, Sammilito Nari Somaj, Nari Progoti Songha, Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Kapaeeng Foundation, Samprity Mancha, Adibashi Adhikar Andolon, CHT Hill Student Council (PCP), Bangladesh Indigenous Student’s Action Forum, Samajtantrik Chatra Front, Worker’s Party (reconstituted), Santal Student’s Union, Garo Students Union expressed their solidarity being present there.

Eminent intellectuals and academicians also expressed their solidarity and demanded to the present government to publish whitepaper of all incidents of women rights violation committed by security forces in CHT. They also demanded constitutional recognition of the indigenous people. They termed the abduction of Kalpana Chakma as shame and stigma for the state. The present government must materialize the CHT Accord for the sake of implementation of Charter of Change. The speakers were eminent educationist Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdury, Columnist Syed Abul Moksud, Professor Sadeka Halim, Professor H K S Arefin, Professor Mesbah Kamal, Robayet Ferdous, Advocate Laila Khaleda, veteran politician Haider Akbar Khan Rono, Farida Akther, Sanjeeb Drong, Rabindranath Soren, Dipayan Khisa and many others. Meo Ching Marma conducted the whole program.

Finally, Meo Ching Marma, President of Hill Women’s Federation (HWF) read out a package of demands of HWF and PCMS. These are the followings:

  • Publication of report on Kalpana abduction investigation and punishment of the kidnappers
  • Publication of whitepaper of all rapes, abduction and massacre.
  • Withdrawal of all temporary army camps and de facto military rule ‘Operation Uttoron’ as per CHT Accord.
  • Full implementation of CHT Accord in letter and spirit.

It is mentionable that Kalpana Chakma was abducted from her house at New Lalyaghona village under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district on 12 June 1996 by the army personnel of Kajaichari camp led by Lt. Ferdous. Kalpana Chakma was the organizing secretary of HWF. She was a strong voice against military atrocities and repression.