Jul 10, 2013

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Bangladeshi Police Not Doing Enough To Protect Indigenous Community

The Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission has criticised Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies following a series of attacks on indigenous people

Below is an article published by the Dhaka Tribune:



The Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission Sunday [7th July] expressed concerns over the “questionable role” of law enforcement agencies, particularly those performing duties to tackle the recent spate of violence in the region.


The commission in a statement called upon the security forces “to discharge their duties with highest level of integrity and impartiality.”


Signed by rights activist Sultana Kamal, also co-chair of the commission, along with two other co- chairs Eric Avebury and Elsa Stamatopoulou, the commission demanded that the perpetrators of the recent violence and the members of law enforcement agencies, who were inactive during the incidents, be brought to book immediately.


The statement mentions several incidents that include critical injury to 50-year-old Chanchala Chakma who was allegedly shot by police during a strike in Khagrachhari; arrest of 42-year-old Bappi Tripura by BGB members allegedly without a warrant and his torture; eviction of 40 Tripura families after around 200 Bengali settlers allegedly attacked on them on June 18 in Bandorchhara in Gomati Bazar; eviction of Chak and Mro villagers by land grabbers in Naikhyongchhari and Lama in Bandarban; and threatening 210 Mro families so that they leave their ancestral land from Lulaing of Lama. 


The rights body also expressed concerns over the killing of 10 people on different occasions of inter- and intra-party clashes.


“The commission is very concerned that in all of these cases, the police have failed to take control of the situation and protect the indigenous people from eviction, attacks, threats and killings, and bring the perpetrators to justice. The authorities need to take urgent measures to protect the land and lives of the indigenous people in the above-mentioned areas and ensure that all of these cases are subject to full and effective investigation,” the statement said.


The commission demanded full implementation of the 1997 CHT Accord. It also termed it not justified what the government claims about executing most of the clauses of the Accord.


The body recommends ensuring non-eviction of the indigenous people, deployment of mixed police in the CHT to deal communal attacks effectively, and appointment of an acceptable chairperson to the Land Commission.