Chittagong Hill Tracts: Protest Meetings against Attack
On 30 January 2010 protest meetings and processions against the cowardly attacks on top indigenous leaders in the country namely Santu Larma, Raja Devasish Roy and Sanjeeb Drong were simultaneously held in Dhaka and Rangamati.
In Dhaka, at 11.00 am protest meeting organised jointly by Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF), Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (JAP) and Bangladesh Adivasi Odhokar Andolon (BAOA) was started at the Central Shaheed Minar with information and publicity secretary of PCJSS Mr. Mangal Kumar Chakma in the chair.
Gono Forum presidium member Pankaj Bhattacharya, convenor of Workers Party of Bangladesh (Reconstituted) Haider Akbar Khan Rano, general secretary of Workers Party of Bangladesh leader Anisur Rahman Mallik, leader of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal Bazlur Rashid Firoz, central member of Communist Party of Bangladesh and Dhaka University teachers M M Akash general and secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim, assistant general secretary of Bangladesh National Awami League Party (NAP) Ismail Hossain, Dhaka University teachers Muhammad Samad, Saurav Sikdar and Robayet Ferdous, women rights activists Khishi Kabir of Nejera Kori and Rokeya Kabir of Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha, indigenous women rights activists Madhabi Lata Chakma of Parbatya Chattagram Women Association, Rakhi Mrong of BAOA, Chaitali Tripura of BIPF and Tandra Chakma, human rights activists Salam Azad, indigenous human rights activists Ajoy A Mree and Sanjeeb Drong, among others, spoke at the protest meeting.
Speakers condemned the recent attacks on the president of BIPF and PCJSS Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, Chakma circle chief Raja Barrister Devasish Roy and general secretary of BIPF Sanjeeb Drong. They urged the government to take stern steps to prevent recurrence of such attacks.
Demanding a proper investigation of the attacks and punishment of the culprits, a protest meeting also accused the government of doing little to protect the members of the ethnic minorities. They said the attack on top indigenous leaders during the Awami League-led government’s regime indicated how vulnerable indigenous peoples are in the country. They appalled the government to find out the perpetrators of such attacks and ensure their punishment.
Speakers also urged the government for early implementation of the CHT Accord and to announce a roadmap towards the implementation of the Accord.
Later, the organisers brought out a procession. Starting from Shaheed Minar, the rally paraded different city streets around Dhaka University campus. Several hundreds representative from indigenous peoples from across the country also joined the protest rally.
In Rangamati, PCJSS brought out procession protesting attack on PCJSS president Santu Larma and Chakma circle chief Raja Devisish Roy from outer stadium in Rangamati to Banarupa. Procession was followed by protest meeting at premises of Deputy Commissioner’s office.
The protest meeting was presided over vice president of PCJSS Laxmi Prasad Chakma while facilitated by assistant information and publicity secretary of PCJSS Sajib Chaknma. Among others, acting general secretary of PCJSS Pranati Bikash Chakma, general secretary of PCJSS Rangamati district branch Bodhi Satta Chakma, general secretary of Rangamati district Women Association Suprava Chakma and president of Hill Students Council (PCP) Udayan Tripura spoke at the meeting.
Speakers of the protest meeting urged the government to ban UPDF soon, to arrest and prosecute those responsible for this attack and to conduct judicial investigation to the attack.
It is mentionable that on 27 January 2010 president of BIPF and PCJSS Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma and Chakma circle chief and former special assistant to caretaker government of Bangladesh came under attack by UPDF miscreants in Mahalchari under Khagrachari district. Earlier on 22 January 2010, Sanjeeb came under attack at Rannikhong in Netrakona district when he was returning from Boheratali Christian Mission riding a motorcycle.