Chittagong Hill Tracts: Head of Commission Encourages Joint Efforts
Below is an article published by The Daily Star:
Chairman of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission (CHTLDRC) Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury at a view exchange meeting here yesterday [5 April 2010] urged cooperation from all quarters for resolving land disputes in three hill districts.
Urging people from all sections to come to the commission with applications about the disputed lands, he said, "Giving a 60-day deadline, the commission secretary circulated a public notice asking for applications about land disputes in three hill districts. We are getting good response from people. We will move for solution after receiving of applications is complete."
"The present government has taken various steps for full implementation of the peace accord. We have to work fast as tenure of the commission is only three years. The past BNP-led four-party alliance government did not take any initiative to implement the peace deal," he said.
Two key members of the commission -- CHT Regional Council Chairman Santu Larma, also the chief of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS), and Chakma Circle chief Devasish Roy did not attend the meeting.
Asked about the matter, the commission chairman said, "It is their moral duty to attend the meeting. But I don't know why they are remaining absent. I think many problems could be solved if they come to the meeting."
"There is no scope for influence or politicisation of the commission. Everybody can take help from the commission for any land dispute, especially those who would be victimised by illegal settlement," Justice Khademul said.
Replying to a query, he said if anybody fails to show documents about ownership of a land, solution will be sought under existing 1900 CHT Regulation and traditional laws.
"We cannot sit idle as bringing amendment to the CHTLDRC as per the demand of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity would be a lengthy process," he said.
Rangamati Hill District Council Chairman Nikhil Kumar Chakma and President of Rangamati Headmen Association Chingkiew Roaza requested the commission chairman to take necessary steps for ensuring presence of the two members at meetings of the commission for early solution of land disputes in hill districts.
Rangamati Deputy Commissioner Sourendra Nath Chakrabarty, Superintendent of Police Masud-ul-Hassan, headmen, UNOs and local journalists attended the meeting held at Rangamati Circuit House in the morning.