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Thursday, January 28, 2010

CHT Commission condemns attacks on Sanjeeb Drong, Santu Larma and Raja Devasish Roy

Source: Kapaeeng Foundation

Forwarded message-
Dear all,

Please find attached two press releases -- one on the attack on human rights activist Sanjeeb Drong and the other on Regional Council Chairperson Santu Larma and Chakma Circle Chief Advocate Raja Devasish Roy.

Sincerely, Hana Ahmed

--
Hana Shams Ahmed
Coordinator
CHT Commission (http://chtcommission.org/)
Bangladesh Secretariat
10/11 Iqbal Road
Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207
Tel: +88-02-9146048
Fax: +88-02-8141810

AIPP Concern and Condemn on the Attacks on Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma and Raja Devasish Roy

Source: Kapaeeng Foundation

Email msg


Dear All
Please find below the AIPP statement in regards the attack to Santu Larma and Raja Devasish Roy. Please feel free to share this information.This concern letter we have faxed to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Foreign Minister and CHT Ministry. Unfortunately we could not able to do fax it to IGP.

Best regards

Binota Moy Dhamai

====

The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) is alarmed and expresses its concern and condemnation on the successive attacks to key indigenous leaders and human rights defenders in Bangladesh. Following the attack to Mr. Sanjeeb Drong last 22 January comes the attack of another two prominent indigenous leaders of Bangladesh, Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma and Raja Devasish Roy, last January 27.

Mr. Larma also known as Santu Larma is the President of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council and President of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF). He played a vital role in the movement for the self determination of the CHT Jumma Indigenous Peoples and is one of the signatories of the CHT Peace Accord. Raja Devasish Roy, on the other hand, is the Chakma Circle Chief and a member of the Human Rights Advocacy Committee of AIPP. He is also a well prominent and respected indigenous rights advocate both in the regional and international level.

According to our reliable sources, Mr. Larma and Raja Devasish were on their way to Khagrachari district on a convoy to attend to two separate meetings when they were attacked by unidentified miscreants. The convoy was attacked in 3 spots: the first attack happened in Betchari in Naniachar upazila and the succeeding attacks in Lemuchari and Maischari in Mahalchari upazila. The miscreants threw brickbats and indiscriminately fired on the convoy and managed to flee the scene immediately. Mr. Larma sustained minor injuries in his hands from glass splinters and his vehicle was badly damaged. His companions in the vehicle also sustained minor injuries from the glass splinters. Raja Devasish’s vehicle was also attacked but he was able to escape unscathed. Despite the shock and alarm brought about by the attacks, both Mr. Larma and Raja Devasish were still able to attend their scheduled meetings.

The successive attack on indigenous leaders in Bangladesh are very alarming and puts into question the safety and security of human rights defenders and indigenous leaders in the said country.

With this, we would like to call the attention of the government of Bangladesh to give immediate attention and action on this matter. We call on the government to conduct an impartial investigation and prosecute those involved in these attacks, including the earlier attack to Mr. Sanjeeb Drong. Finally, we call on the government to ensure the safety and security of the victims and their families to take concrete measures to prevent further attacks intimidation and violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms accorded to every citizen regardless of their political beliefs and affiliations.

We hope that the concerned government officials of Bangladesh will take urgent and appropriate actions on this matter.

Joan Carling

Secretary General

Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact





Rights activists condemn attack on Sanjeeb Drong

Source: New Age
Submitted by:Kapaeeng Foundation


New Age, Dhaka, 25 January 2010,

Rights activists and politicians on Sunday strongly condemned the attack on Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of the Bangladesh Indigenous People’s Forum, saying that the government seems to be playing no role at all in protecting the members of the ethnic minorities.

They also demanded the prime minister’s intervention to ensure the punishment of the criminals who attacked Sanjeeb at Rannikhong in Netrokona district on Friday when he was returning from Boheratali Christian Mission by motorcycle.

The miscreants tipped over the motorcycle and hit Sanjeeb with sticks repeatedly. His hands have been seriously injured.

‘We [rights activists] feel helplessness after the attack. The attack proves that the elected government is not a democratic government,’ Haider Akbar Khan Rano, the convenor of Workers Party of Bangladesh (Reconstituted), told a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.

Gono Forum’s presidium member Pankaj Bhattacharya, Bangladesh Adivasi Odhikar Andolon’s general secretary Mesbah Kamal, Dhaka University teachers Saurav Sikdar and Rubayet Ferdous, and Sanjeeb Drong and his wife, along with others, spoke at the press conference.

Saurav Sikdar said the attack on members of the ethnic minority during the Awami League-led government’s regime has indicated how vulnerable they are in the country.

However the officer-in-charge of the Durgapur Police Station, Abdul Khaleq, told New Age that they have arrested Krishna Saha in this connection.

A Garo community leader, who attended the press conference at DRU, told New Age that the miscreants attacked Sanjeeb because of previous enmity over a land dispute.

‘Sanjeeb had earlier protested against the illegal selling of land in Mirpur area which Ershad’s government had given to the ethnic minority for building a community cultural centre,’ he said.

He said that Promad Mankin MP, who was the state minister for cultural affairs, in February 2009 allegedly sold the property for Tk 2.2 crore to a non-government organisation.

‘The sale was strongly criticised by the ethnic minority leaders and Sanjeeb played a vital role in the subsequent protests, after he was threatened several times over the phone and was finally attacked,’ he said.

He said that Supen Tojo, who was allegedly involved in the attack, is also brother-in-law of Promad Mankin.

The New Age tried repeatedly to contact Promad Mankin but failed.

Various political and cultural organisations strongly condemned the attack on Sanjeeb.

The Jatiya Adivasi Parishad’s general secretary, Rabindranath Saren, in his statement condemned the attack and urged the government to arrest the masterminds behind the incident.

Leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Indigenous Stud-ents Action Forum at a press conference in Mudhu’s Cant-een on the Dhaka University campus demanded arrest of the attackers and exemplary punishment for them.

They also brought out a procession and threatened to wage a tough movement if the culprits were not arrested immediately.

Leaders of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity on Saturday strongly condemned the attack.

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

Punishment to attackers of Sanjeeb Drong demanded

The Daily Star, Monday, January 25, 2010

Rights activists yesterday condemned the attack on indigenous community leader Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, and demanded punishment to the attackers.

They alleged that Sanjeeb was attacked by a group of armed hoodlums near Rashmani Memorial in Netrokona on Friday when he was returning to Birishiri after attending a meeting.

The rights activists said this at a press conference organised by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum and Bangladesh Adivasi Adhikar Andolon at Dhaka Reporters' Unity in the city,

They demanded proper investigation into the incident, arrest and punishment to the attackers.

Sanjeeb, who was accompanied by his wife during the incident, was later rescued by local people. His motorcycle was also vandalised by the assailants.

The injured Adivasi leader in his speech said the attackers were all Bangalees except one Garo accomplice named Supen Toju from Madhabpur village.

A case has been filed in Durgapur Police Station in Netrokona. Police later arrested one Krishna Saha in connection with the attack.

Sanjeeb said an influential group is creating pressure on the police to release the arrestee, who can disclose the names of the architects behind the attack.

Demanding protection, the indigenous leader said he and his family members are feeling insecure after the attack.

Prof Mesbah Kamal, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Adhikar and Research and Development Collective, said human rights activists are most vulnerable to aggression.

Pankaj Bhattacharya, presidium member of Gono Forum, Prof Robayet Ferdous and Dr Sourav Sikdar of Dhaka University, Sharif Jamil, joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon and politician Haidar Akbar Khan Rono also spoke.