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Monday, November 30, 2009

Chakma woman attempted to rape by an army in Nanyachar

Source: Kapaeeng Foundation


Introduction

On 8 November 2009 an army from Ghilachari army camp under Nanyachar army zone of 1 Bir Bengal allegedly attempted to rape a Chakma woman named Ms. Jamuna Chakma (21) w/o Shyamal Kanti Chakma of Krishnamachara village of Ghilachari union under Naniachar upazila (sub-district) in Rangamati district. The culprit was identified as Md. Ziaul. Later local people observed road blockade programme protesting against the incident. During the road blockade programme, agitated people allegedly hit and broke the glasses of an army pick-up. On the contrary, army personnel beat the protesters with stick and firewood leaving some women and men seriously injured.

Beginning of the incident

On that day around 3:00 pm Ms. Jamuna Chakma went to nearby well to bring water. At that time, army person Md. Ziaul also went there from their nearby sentry post in name of bringing drinking water. When he found Ms. Jamuna Chakma alone, he tried to grab her from behind and attempted to rape. But Ms. Jamuna Chakma could narrowly run away and reach nearby turmeric and ginger field where some Jumma villagers were working.

No sooner of the incident, husband of Ms. Jamuna Chakma along with neighboring villagers went to the Ghilachari camp and put objection against Md Ziaul. The camp authority, making eye-watch punishment to the culprit, tried to terminate the matter by offering some money to husband of Ms. Jamuna.

Immediate protest

But the local people and the victim’s husband did not agree on the verdict of the Ghilachari camp authority. That’s why, soon after hearing the verdict of the Ghilachari camp authority, the local people in participation of a huge number of women brought out a procession protesting the incident.

At one stage, on that day around 5:00 pm Lt. Colonel Md. Mushfikur Rahaman, Commander of Nanyachar army zone visited the spot and gave assurance of appropriate punishment of the actual criminal to the people demonstrating.

Demonstration continues, demands to the upazila leaders visiting the spot

On 9 November 2009, the local people again brought out a procession at Ghilachari area along the Rangamati-Khagrachari road. At that time, Chairman of Nanyachar upazila council Mr. Pritimoy Chakma, Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) of Nanyachar upazila Md Jahirul Islam, Chairman of Nanyachar union Mr. Panchanon Chakma, Chairman of Burighat union Mr. Pranati Ranjan Chakma and Chairman of Ghilachari union Mr. Mithu Chakma council visited the spot and at one stage, they were surrounded by the demonstrators. They were compelled by the demonstrators to give undertaking to fulfill the following demands:

(1) to punish the army involved with this incident without any delay;

(2) to withdraw Ghilachari army camp;

(3) to ensure security of life of the Jumma villagers;

(4) to stop harassment and torture on women;

Investigation Committee formed

On 12 November 2009 an Investigation Committee was formed in initiative of upazila chairman and upazila executive officer. The committee is as follows:

(1) Convener- Kumentu Chakma, vice chairman of Nanyachar upazila, (2) Member- Md. Rafique, S I of Nanyachar police station, (3) Member- Reni Chakma, women affairs officer of Nanyachar upazila, (4) Member- Mithu Chakma, chairman of No. 4 Ghilachari union council, (5) Member- Babul Karmakar, representative of Awami League of Nanyachar upazila.

The Investigation Committee has not yet published any report.

Army surrounded local leaders’ and villagers’ houses

On 12 November 2009 a group of army from Ghilachari camp conducted operation at Ghilachari area. During the operation, army surrounded the houses of (1) Pulak Chakma, s/o Bandajya Chakma, member of No. 2 Ward of Ghilachari union council and (2) Ananta Bikash Chakma, s/o Jersen Chakma of Ghilachari village of Ghilachari union.

Again, on 13 November 2009 army encircled the houses of (1) Mithu Chakma, s/o Sukra Kumar Chakma, chairman of No. 4 Ghilachari union council, (2) Amar Jiban Chakma, s/o Rabindra Nath Chakma, ex-chairman of Ghilachari union council and (3) Jogendra Chakma, s/o Mohan Banshi Chakma, member of No. 7 Ward of Ghilachari union council.

Again procession, hit on army pickup (car) and army attack on villagers

On 17 November 2009, the villagers again brought out a procession Ghilachari area along Khagrachari-Rangamati road. At one stage, protesters broke the front glass of a pickup of army when an army pickup was trying to overtake the procession and women protesters hit the army personnel with their wearing cloth ‘Pinon’. On the contrary, army also beat the demonstrators. In this brutal attack, the following persons were seriously injured:

(1) Ms. Jhinu Chakma (25) w/o Kalaboa Chakma, village- Kabukchari Mukh,

(2) Ms. Maya Chakma (15) d/o Buddha Kumar Chakma, student of class 9 of Mahaprum high school, village- Kabukchari Mukh,

(3) Ms. Chadra Mela Chakma (36) w/o Suresh Kumar Chakma (Barpeda), village- Kutukchari Nich Para of Kutukchari union,

(4) Mr. Anil Chakma (42) s/o Nandi Kumar Chakma, village- Pakujyachari of Mahalchari upazila of Khagrachari district,

(5) Ms. Kalabi Chakma (45) w/o Rajmoni Chakma, village- Kutukchari Badalama chara of Kutukchari union.

Among them, the first 4 persons were got admitted to Rangamati general hospital with serious injury.