Chittagong Hill Tracts: PCJSS Forms Human Chain To Protest Against Taindong Communal Attack
The Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) formed a human chain in the districts of Rangamati and Bandarban to protest against a communal attack on Jumma villages by Bengali settlers in the Taindong-Matiranga area, and against the passive role of the government despite the atrocities committed by the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF).
Below is an article published by the Information and Publicity Department of PCJSS:
On 5 August 2013 at 10:30 am the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) formed human chain in Rangamati and Bandarban district headquarters protesting massive communal attack, arson and looting on Jumma villages by Bengali settlers in Taindong-Matiranga area, atrocities of the UPDF and passive roles of government authorities. The human chain was followed by submission of memorandum to the Prime Minister through Deputy Commissioner of Rangamati Hill District.
In Rangamati, presided over by vice president of the PCJSS Mr. Ushatan Talukdar, the human chain was addressed by president of Rangamati district branch of PCJSS Mr. Gunendu Bikash Chakma and assistant general secretary of the Hill Students Council (PCP) Mr. Toyen Chakma. The memorandum was read out by assistant information and publicity Secretary Mr. Sajib Chakma and the event was conducted by staff member of PCJSS Mr. Udayan Tripura.
In Bandarban, presided over by president of Bandarban district branch of PCJSS Mr. Sadhuram Tripura, the human chain was addressed by central member Mr. Chinghla Mong Chak and Mr. Joli Mong Marma, general secretary of Bandarban district branch of PCP Mr. Nitya Lal Tangchangya. The event was conducted by general secretary of Bandarban district branch of PCJSS Mr. Kyawba Marma.
In its memorandum signed by its general secretary Mr. Pranati Bikash Chakma, PCJSS said that the Bengali settlers committed massive communal attack, arson and looting on Jumma villages spreading allegation of kidnapping of a motor bike driver (Bengali settler) by UPDF’s armed terrorists on 3 August 2013. In this attack, around 50 houses of Jumma villagers including 16 houses at Sorbeswar Para, 11 at Baga Para, 3 at Talukdar Para and 3 at Bandarshing Para (Bhagaban Tila) were burnt to ashes. Besides around 400 houses of Jumma villagers were looted and ransacked by Bengali settlers. More than 2000 Jumma villagers of 9 villages crossed over the border and took shelter at no-man land of Indian territory. At least 12 Jumma villagers were injured in this attack. It is alleged that police and Border Gaud Bangladesh (BGB) did not take adequate action against Bengali settlers during massive attack on Jumma people in the day light. Rather, it is observed that law-enforcing personnel indirectly offered opportunity to the Bengali settlers to conduct this heinous attack by playing passive roles during the violent incident.
It is important to mention that recently anti-CHT Accord armed terrorist group UPDF has intensified its atrocities including extortion, kidnapping, collection of ransom, killing etc in Matiranga upazlia under Khagarchari district. On the other, Bengali settlers are active to conduct fanatic activities including communal attack, arson, looting and rummage of Jumma villages arguing lame excuse. In addition, the government authorities including local administration and law-enforcing personnel refrained from taking any action against Bengali settlers who are involved with spreading communal tension and conducting communal attack on Jumma villages in one hand and on the other hand, did not take any measure against UPDF elements who are engaged with the heinous atrocities including extortion, kidnapping, killing etc. As a result, both groups are continuing their ultra-fanatic and terrorist activities freely and without any hindrance. Ultimately, the situation of the CHT is going to be more and more deteriorated which is not expected for greater interest of the country.
For instances, the PCJSS mentioned in its memorandum that the armed terrorists of the UPDF and reformist group (Sudhasindhu-Tatindra group) shot dead returnee member of PCJSS Amalendu Bikash Chakma on 4 June 2012 and killed Kalanjoy Chakma after kidnapping on 5 March 2012 in Matiranga area. However, the government did not take any action against terrorists involved with these killings. On the other, armed element of the UPDF kidnapped a Bengali businessman from Toilafang area of Bornal union on 22 December 2012 and on the contrary, following this incident, Bengali settlers attacked on Jumma houses at Hedachara mouza and Hemanga Karbari Para and Rabidhan Karbari Para of Belchari union. In this attack, two houses of Jumma villagers were burnt to ashes and 36 houses were looted and ransacked. In a raid for extortion, the UPDF armed miscreants shot dead a Bengali labourer of Battali brick-field at Khedachara mouza in Matiranga. Following another incident related to extortion by the UPDF and reformist group, Bengali settlers made an attack on Pran Kumar Karbari Para under Bornal union which left four Jumma villagers injured seriously.
Relating to extortion, UPDF declared to boycott Matiranga bazaar and Gumti Bazaar on 13 June 2013 and in order to make successful of this boycott, they forced 42 Tripura families of 4 villages of Bandarchara mouza under Gomti union to leave their villages on 14 June 2013 arguing that the Bengali settlers might attack them as they (UPDF) took plan to conduct raid on Bengali settlers’ villages. Later, on request of Tripura Kalyan Sangsad, the uprooted villagers were allowed to return their villages after suffering miserable condition for few days in the jungle. However, the UPDF did not stop its atrocities and terrorist activities for a moment. As part of this, they kidnapped ruling Awami League leader Jahangir Alam from Balyachari area of Matiranga upazila and released him later in exchange for heavy ransom. At the last, the UPDF armed group tried to raid a Bengali settler village named Noya Para in Taindong union on 31 July 2013 in mid-night and in a stage, they opened fire to disperse Bengali settlers. Following this incident, the Bengali settlers gathered at different places including Taindong bazaar under Taindong union and held marches shouting communal slogans. Fearing attack of settlers, around 250 Jumma families of six villages namely Baga Para, Headman Para, Tonga Mahajan Para, Sorbeswar Para, Rambabudeva and Pura Bari fled into the jungle and Bangladesh-India Border. On 1 August 2013 the fear-stricken families returned to their village following a security guarantee by BGB. Earlier on 4 August 2012 a total of 165 Jumma villagers took shelter into the Indian territory following Bengali settlers’ attack on them at Kadamtali area of Bornal union. They were repatriated by flag meeting between BSF and BGB promising their security of life and property. However, the government authorities including local administration and law-enforcing agencies did not pay any attention to provide security of Jumma villagers. The authorities did not even take any measure against terrorist activities of the UPDF in one hand and on the other hand, they remained inactive against ultra-fanatic activities of Bengali settlers. This caused to make recent attack on Jumma villagers by the Bengali settlers on 3 August 2013 in Taindong-Matiranga in presence of law-enforcing personnel.
This is also important to mention here that the fanatic forces of Bengali settlers and vested interest group hided in the administration and law-enforcing agencies are active to foil implementation process of the CHT Accord. They remain vigorous to fishing in the muddy water by making CHT situation turmoil. Hence, the situation of the CHT is deteriorating day by day as no action was taken against the persons and organisations involved with such misdeeds. PCJSS submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister on 20 February 2013 soon after kidnapping of its 62 members and supporters by armed group of UPDF expressing its concern about alarming situation and demanding to ban UPDF. However, the government was reluctant to take any action in this regard. Given this circumstance, in order to expedite speedy and proper implementation of the CHT Accord and for the sake of law and order of the CHT region as well as greater interest of the country, PCJSS, in its memorandum submitted on 5 August 2013, demanded followings-
To return back affected Jumma villagers to their respective villages and to provide adequate compensation and rehabilitation to them.
To conduct judicial inquiry into the communal attack on Jumma villagers on 3 August and provide exemplary punishment to those Bengali settlers involved with this violent incident.
To ban anti-CHT Accord armed terrorist organisation UPDF and take necessary action against its armed terrorist activities.
To rehabilitate Bengali settlers outside CHT with dignity.
Photo from Information and Publicity Department of PCJSS