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Monday, January 25, 2010

URGENT ACTION: Protest against Brutal Attack on BIPF’s general secretary Sanjeeb Drong

Source: Kapaeeng Foundation

INTRODUCTION:

On 22 January 2010 a human right defender, a free-lance journalist, columnist and general secretary of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) along his wife Ms. Mitali Chisim were attacked yesterday by a group of miscreants while coming back Birisiri by a motor bike after attending a meeting at Ranikhnong Catholic mission area under Netrokona district on the way to Dhaka.

BIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:

Date of the Incident: 22 January 2010 around 12.30 pm

Name of the Victim: Sanjeeb Drong

Father Name: Suhrid Gagra (late)

Mother Name: Noyoni Drong (late)

Age: 43 years

Address of the Victim: 62 Prabal Housing, Ring Road, Mohammadpur, Dhaka

Name of the Perpetrators: 10/12 miscreants including 1 person belongs to Garo. Two miscreants were identified as Mr. Supen Toju (Garo person) and Mr. Krishna Saha (Bengali person).

Address of the Perpetrators: Unknown. However, Mr. Supen Taju (Garo person) is from Madhabpur, Sub-district Susong Durgapur under Netrokona district

Place of Incident: Nearby place of Shaheed Rasimoni Smritisoudha of Ranikhong under Susong Durgapur upazila (sub-district) in Netrokona district

Method used: Attempt to murder by hurt with stick

Case file: Complain was lodged with Susong Gurgapur police station, case number 21/21

Date of Case: 22 January 2010

Under Section: 341/323/427 of Bangladesh Penal Code

Mr. Drong has been working for human rights for down trodden people in general and rights for indigenous peoples in particular. He has been involved with Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, a national platform of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh. He has been representing the national and international forum including the session of United Nations and its specialized agencies for indigenous peoples in Bangladesh and also UNPFII and ILO. His is actively involved with the justice, peace and integrity of creation, many human rights and civil society organisations. Mr. Drong takes part in all the indigenous meetings, rallies, movements and gatherings. He gives input talks as resource person for seminars and meetings.

Mr. Drong has been writing for causes of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh and national issues since student life. He has published four hundred columns in the national dailies and little magazines and five books on indigenous peoples’ issues. He has also been serving as free-lance journalist for long time. He has got very close connection with the printing and electronic media in Bangladesh.

FACT IN BRIEF:

On that day, Mr. Sanjeeb Drong was inhumanly beaten up and his motor bike was damaged at the same time. He got very bad muscle injury on both arms and blisters on the skin. He managed to get out of the spot running for life. Mr. Drong was immediately rescued by the Bishop of Mymensingh, Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi CSC and the Priests having meeting at the near by Parish on the occasion of the Centennial celebration of Ranikhong Catholic Mission. Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi, CSC and the Regional Director of the Caritas Regional office in Mymensingh took him to the SSMI Sister's Hospital for first aid and brought him back to Mymensingh town in the evening. From there he brought back to Dhaka by car at 11:00 pm.

It is suspected that the incident was organised by a ruling indigenous parliamentarian because Mr. Drong spoke against his recent corruption. That leader sold out a piece of land in Dhaka to an NGO for 7.5 crore taka ($11 million) which was given by the Government of Bangladesh for protection of cultural of indigenous peoples in plains land. Mr. Drong was one of the strong oppositions spoke against that corruption.

One of the miscreants named Krishna Saha has been arrested on that day by the police. It is learnt that the ruling political leaders are trying to influence the district administration to free him.

ACTION NEEDED:

Please write to the authorities in Bangladesh urging them to:

1) Conduct judicial inquiry of the attack and identify the persons who was involved behind the screen;

2) Immediate arrest the miscreants who committed the attack including the Garo person Mr. Supen Toju;

3) Prosecute exemplary punishment to those found responsible for the attack;

4) Provide full security to Mr. Sanjeeb Drong so that he can move around freely and continue his normal way of life.

Please write to the authorities of Bangladesh Government

§ Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Prime Minister’s Office, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax : +880 2 8113243 / 3244 / 1015 / 1490, Email: Info@pmo.gov.bd, E-mail: pm@pmo.gov.bd pm@pmo.gov.bd> or psecy@pmo.gov.bd psecy@pmo.gov.bd>

§ Dr. Dipu Moni, Honorable Minister, Foreign Ministry, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Fax: +880 2 9558566, Tel: 956-2852

§ Ms. Sahara Khatun, Honorable Minister, Ministry Home Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, BANGLADESH, Fax: +88-02-7160405, 88-02-7164788 (O), Tel:+88-02-7169069 (O)

§ Mr. Dipankar Talukdar MP, Honorable State Minister, CHT Affairs Ministry, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, BANGLADESH, Tel: +880-2- 7161774, E-mail: mochtadh@bttb.net

§ Mr. Nur Mohammad, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Bangladesh Police, Police Headquarters', Fulbaria, Dhaka-1000, BANGLADESH, Fax: +880 2 956 3362 / 956 3363, Tel: +880 2 956 2054 / 717 6451 / 717 6677, E-mail: ig@police.gov.bd

Report on Baghaichari (Baghaihat and Sajek) situation in Rangamati

Source: PCJSS

8 Jumma villagers injured by attack of Bengali settlers

Today’s morning (on 24 January 2010) Jumma people have allegedly been attacked by Bengali settlers in Baghaichari sadar and Baghaihat. At least 8 persons in two places have been injured in this communal attack.

It is learnt that around 9.30 am a group of Bengali settlers made attack on Jumma people at Choumuhani area of Baghaichari sadar under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. The following persons were injured in attack-

(1) Mr. Bijoy Chakma (25) s/o Alok Bikash Chakma of village Magban in Baghaichari, sustained injury on his head;

(2) Mr. Sohel Chakma (student) of village Chahabachara in Baghaichari;

(3) Mr. Samapta Chakma of village Babu Para of Baghaichari;

(4) Mr. Dayal Chandra Chakma of village Malya in Baghaichari.

They were admitted at Baghaichari upazila hospital. Dayal Chandra Chakma came to Baghaichari headquarters to withdraw aged allowance.

On the other, at the morning Bengali settlers made attack on hostel of Baghaihat High School where Jumma students have been staying. It is reported that at least 3 students and head teacher of the school were injured. They were identified as-

(1) Mr. Shakyabodhi Chakma, Head Teacher of Baghaihat High School;

(2) Mr. Rubel Chakma, a student of SSC candidate;

(3) Mr. Soikat Chakma, a student of SSC candidate;

(4) Mr. Mithun Chakma, a student of SSC candidate.

It is reported that at present 36 students and teachers of Baghaihat High School including above-mentioned victims have been logged at school house and encircled by the army and police at Baghaihat area.

Tension during last night:

It is also learnt that Bengali settlers gathered at Nursary Para of Baghaihat area under Baghaichari upazila to attack Jumma villages. Sensing this, the Jumma villagers gathered at nearby places of Nursay Para to prevent Bengali settlers’ attack.

However, Bengali settlers refrained from attack as security forces prevented them and as sensing the gathering of Jumma people to oppose any attack of Bengali settlers.

It is also reported that a group of army from Baghaihat zone conducted operation at Nandaram villager under Sajek union. During the operation, army tried to arrest the two following Karbaries (village head), failed to do so as villagers opposed to arrest them-

(1) Mr. Sumati Ranjan Chakma, Karbari of South Nandaram village;

(2) Mr. Udayan Chakma, Karbari of North Nandaram village.

Beginning of the incident:

Since starting of January 2010, Bengali settlers with the support of Baghaihat army zone resumed expansion of their settlement in Sajek area under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. A number of houses have already been erected by the Bengali settlers occupying Jumma villagers’ land.

Protesting against the expansion of Bengali settlement, local Jumma villagers have been boycotting the Baghaihat bazaar since the start of expansion of Bengali settlement. It is also reported that the villagers, under the banner of Sajek Bhumi Rakkha Committee, submitted a memorandum to the Baghaichhari UNO on 10 January 2010 with an ultimatum of 16 January to return them their lands. As the deadline expired without any fruitful result on 16 January, Jumma villagers started their agitation and started to boycott Baghaihat market from 18 January.

Army operation and 8 Jumma injured:

Tension mourned since 22 Janauray 2010 while army tortured on Jumma villagers. It is reported that the incident first took place when some indigenous people of Ratkaba scolded two indigenous women as they came to the local bazar to sell their goods despite a ban by villagers.

On information, the security forces of Baghaihat zone picked up two Jumma youths namely Karnajoy Chakma and Kalabija Chakma from the Baghaihat bazaar and beaten them up mercilessly at zone office, leaving them injured. At one stage, Jumma women under the banner of Sachetan Nari Committee, led by its Convener Lojo Mukhi Chakma, protested the army action on the youths and took them away from army custody.

Following the incident, the security forces went to the bazar again and beaten up the indigenous Jumma villagers indiscriminately, leaving following eight people injured-

(1) Mr. Gyana Moy Karbari (45),

(2) Gyanendu Chakma (55),

(3) Bindu Chakma (48),

(4) Shanti Bimal Chakma (32),

(5) Anadi Ranjan Chakma (45)and

(6) Lojo Mukhi Chakma (45)

(7) Ranjana Bap (42)

(8) Sharni Bap.

Present of Dipankar Talukdar in Baghaichari:

State Minister for CHT Affairs Ministry is now visiting in Baghaichari area. However, local Jumma villagers alleged that he did not take any effective measure to prevent the Bengali settlers or to control the situation.

Urgent Action Needed:

Tension is going on at Baghaihat area of Sajek union and upazila headquarters under Baghaichari upazila. With this circumstance, the following action should be taken on urgent basis-

1. Immediate action to rescue the Jumma students and teacher who are not logged at Baghaihat high school by the army and police

2. Bengali settlers should be closed from Baghaihat areas

3. Expansion of Bengali settlement should be stopped

4. Land and homesteads occupied by Bengali settlers should be returned back to Jumma villagers