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Monday, October 19, 2009

Hundreds of Aila-hit families in Dakope still under open sky

Picture (Dailystar news): Rendered homeless by cyclone Aila on May 25 this year, people of Kamarkhola village in Dakope upazila under Khulna district are still living miserably in awful makeshift shelters on a road. Photo: STAR

Source: The Daily Star News

Many victims of cyclone Aila-hit unions in Dakope upazila of Khulna district have alleged irregularities and malpractices in distribution of the government fund allocated for reconstruction of their damaged houses.

Over a lakh people of about 35,000 families of Sutarkhali, Kamarkhola, Tildanga and Banishanta unions under Dakope upazila are still staying under the open sky and in makeshift camps at high places as the Aila on May 25 this year rendered them homeless.

"Aila fully damaged 22 kilometres of embankments in these four unions. We hope to start work for reconstructing the damaged embankments by the last week of next month," said engineer Abdur Rob Howlader of Water Development Board.

Nani Gopal Mandol, lawmaker elected from Khulna-1 constituency (Dakope and Batiaghata upazilas) said the government had responded to his request for allocation of fund required to reconstruct the damaged embankments as early as possible.

Meanwhile, there are allegations of corruption and malpractice in distribution of government fund allocated particularly for reconstruction of houses damaged by Aila.

According to the UNO's office, Aila fully damaged 25,167 houses and partly damaged 8,349 houses in nine unions under the upazila.

Each of the affected 7,530 families of Sutarkhali and 3,533 families of Kamarkhola union received Tk 3,000 for reconstruction of their damaged houses while victims of other unions are yet to get it.

There are allegations of irregularities, malpractices and nepotism in distribution of Tk 3 crore 31 lakh and 89,000 allocated by the government for reconstruction of damaged houses of Aila victims.

Many Aila victims did not get money although their houses were fully damaged, said Mahabubur Rahman of Kalabogi village of Sutarkhali union.

"I did not get money for reconstruction of my house fully damaged by Aila as I did not offer a certain amount from Tk 3,000 to the UP chairman as tip," said Khokon Bawali of Satghoria village in Kamarkhola union.

As this correspondent talked separately with the upazila chairman, the UNO and police officials, they said that none of the Aila victims had so far submitted any written complaint against anyone committing such grave offence of misappropriation.

They, however, did not rule out the possibility of such malpractices.

"Sutarkhali union parishad member Abdul Hossain Sana was arrested on October 12 on charge of corruption in distributing fund meant for reconstruction of damaged houses," the UNO said.

Bangladesh: Abducted and gang raped minority housewife fighting for life


A group of armed criminals wearing mask abducted a minority Hindu woman while she was sleeping with her husband and later gang-raped her. The victim is now fighting for her life at the hospital.

Two criminals are now under arrest in this incident.

Police informs the reporter that, on Friday night, a group of six criminals wearing masked burst into the house of Sagar Das cutting through tin shed hedge of his house at Madhupur upazilla.

They attacked and forcefully abducted the housewife (25), mother of two children and gang raped her in a nearby paddy field. Husband of the victim, Sagar Das sustained several stab wounds while trying to save his wife.

According to report, criminals snatched the housewife dragging her through fileds and brought the victim at Taila Kupi open field while gang raped her there.

The victim was found unconsciously lying in the open field and rescued by family members who admitted her at Pabna Sadar Hospital.

Mr. Sagar Das, the husband of the victim filed a case against the perpetrators of crime at Ataikula police station.

Report on the Meeting of the Standing Committee of the CHT Affairs Ministry

Submitted by: PCJSS CHT

On 18 October 2009 at 11.00 a.m. the sixth meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ministry of CHT Affairs (MoCHTA) held at Cabinet Room of the Jatiyo Sangsad in Dhaka presided over by Janab Shah Alam, President of the Committee. Among others the following persons were present in the meeting:

Members of the Standing Committee –

  1. Mr. Dipankar Talukdar, State Minister, MoCHTA
  2. Mr. Bir Bahadur Ushwesingh, MP, Bandarban
  3. Mr.Jatindra Lal Tripura, MP, Khagrachari
  4. Janab (Retd. Captain) Giasuddin Ahmed MP, Mymensingh
  5. Janab K.M. Khalid, MP, Mymensingh
  6. Ms Aethin Rakhain, MP, Women Seat CHT Regional Council
  7. Mr. Goutam Kumar Chakma, Member, CHTRC
  8. Mr. Krishna Chandra Chakma, Executive Officer in Charge, CHTRC Officials
  9. Janab Abul Hossain, Joint secretary, MoCHTA and 2 other officers of MoCHTA
  10. One member from Bandarban Hill district Council
  11. Representatives of Deputy Commissioners of Rangamati, Khagrachari & Bandarban Hill Districts.

Discussion & Decisions

(1) In the meeting the proceeding of the fifth meeting of the committee held in Rangamati on 18/08 2009 was approved, which contained mainly about a decision of cancellation of some hundred plots of lands leased out but were not used within the 10 years and allotment of lands through discussion with the MoCHTA, CHTRC and HDCs. With regard to the decision about allotment of lands, CHTRC member Goutam Kumar Chakma asked to do it as per the CHT Accord after resolution of land disputes and rehabilitation of Tribal refugees and internally Displaced Tribal Families and to add some words about it in the decision. The Committee assured that the allotment would be done as per the decision through discussion with CHTRC & HDCs. So there was nothing to worry about it.

(2) MoCHTA placed a brief report on the development of the implementation of the CHT Accord. The matter of issuing permanent Resident Certificate in CHT was pointed out. J L Tripura asked to exclude Deputy Commissioners (DCs) in issuing this one. But the MoCHTA official Abul Hossain explained the DCs have been doing it as per the CHT Regulatuion, 1900. Goutam Kumar Chakma told that there was no provision in the CHT Regulation for it. Finally, it was decided that CHTRC would place it in writing about it and then recommendation would be provided to MoCHTA for action.

(3) The issue of starting Land Survey as recommended by the Land Commission Chairman was discussed. Goutam Kumar Chakma told that the meetings convened by the Land Commission Chairman were not of the Commission and the Chairman of the CHTRC, who is a member of the Commission could not attend them owing to improper and urgent notices. Goutam Kumar Chakma explained that CHT Land Survey is not a function of the Commission. It has been a Quasi Judicial Body to settle land disputes in CHT only. He further explained that Land Survey in CHT at the moment based on the Bhumi Khatian (CHT) Ordinance, 1984 would mean legalise the plots illegally provided to the settlers in 1980, which would make the land disputes more complicated. The Committee asked CHTRC to place report on it later and based on it decision would be taken by the committee.

(4) Mr. Bir Bahadur MP urged the committee to arrange a conference on the Acts and Rules of CHT for proper orientation of the concerned authorities.

(5) Goutam Kumar Chakma, as instance raised the point of drafting the National Education Policy without consultation of the CHTRC, which might be conflicting with the HDCs Regulations in the coming days. Mr. Giasuddin Ahmed, at it asked Goutam Kumar Chakma to place recommendation, if any to the Committee soon. Goutam Kumar acceded to it and the Committee adopted it.

2 amici curiae appointed for hearing CHT accord rule

Source: The Daily star

The High Court today appointed two lawyers as amici curiae (friend of court) for their expert opinions on a High Court rule regarding the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.

The HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury appointed Advocate TH Khan and Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud as important constitutional and legal points involved in this matter.

The HC bench fixed October 22 for hearing the rule.

On August 2007, the HC issued the rule upon the government to explain why the execution and implementation of the accord should not be declared unconstitutional and illegal.

The matter today came upon on the cause list for hearing.

On December 2, 1997, the previous Awami League government led by then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed the peace accord with PCJSS leader Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, popularly known as Santu Larma, ending an over two-decade-old insurgency.