Nov 16, 2020

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Human Rights Report October

The Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti has released its latests human rights report on the situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The report highlights the ongoing oppression, exploitation and discrimination against the Jumma people. The report sheds light on the ‘blue print’ of turning the non-Muslim-inhabited CHT into a Muslim-dominated region through eviction of the Jumma people under development aggression of the ruling class and state forces. The Islamization program is being fortified by way of ceasing the Jumma people’s political and human rights to exist; evicting them by grabing their lands; forced demographic change and religious assimilation. Moreover, October saw 2 separate false cases filed against 46 persons of PCJSS leaders, workers, supporters and villagers and another false case was filed against 25 unknown persons.


Below is newsletter in English published by Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti

 In every moment, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is now trending deep to deeper into the crisis. The Jumma people living therein since the time immemorial, are being obliged to pass each of their days and months in extreme anxiety, concern and uncertainty. Since, at any moment the human rights violations like ceasing to rights, killings, fabricated cases, arrest, torture, atrocities and kidnapping, etc. by the state forces and their domesticated terrorists is highly likely to come down upon the Jumma people. It is also in the card that at any moment and on any plea, the lands and homesteads of Jumma people may be illegally occupied and there may be communal attack upon the Jumma people. The Jumma women and children may become victims of violation or sexual assaults by any of the Bengali settlers or the security forces, at any moment of time. But the reality that ensures remedial measures with proper and impartial justice against those crimes is ceased to exist. Even democratic rights to raising protest against those atrocities is partially or completely being regulated by the government and the administration. All affairs in CHT are being directed and controlled under the military administration. Today, the army has been exercising its powers by direct or indirect interruption in every sphere of life of the Jumma people with regard to religious, personal, social, conventional, political and economic sectors. Needless to say, creation of today’s uncertainty in the situation finds the reason lying with non-implementation of CHT Accord signed on 2 December 1997 with an aim at preservation of Jumma-inhabited feature of CHT ensuring political and peaceful solution to the CHT crisis, establishment of peace and development in the region, removal of military rule and setting up democratic administration.

The Jumma people have not been returned their dispossessed lands and homesteads even after 23 years since signing the CHT Accord; nor have they got relieved from oppression, exploitation and discrimination; and furious look of state forces and military rule. Above all, the heinous ‘blue print’ of turning the non-Muslim-inhabited CHT into a Muslim-dominated region is about to get materialized through eviction of the Jumma people under development aggression of the ruling class and state forces. The Islamization program is being fortified by way of ceasing the Jumma people’s political and human rights to exist; evicting them by robbing their rights to lands and territories; converting the poor Jumma people to Islam by hook or crook; escalating infiltration of the outsiders; and turning the region into a den of Islamic radicalists by establishing thousands of mosques, madrasas and orphanages. With all this, the Jumma peoples have been pushed to the brink of destruction. 

Needless to say, at birth, every human being is free and possesses the right to equal dignity. Everyone has the rights to self-protection and development. The Jumma nation also has the right to protect national entity and existence of birth land and the right to national develop within own territory. Of course, the Jumma people want peaceful and political solution to the CHT crisis, as has been enshrined in the CHT Accord. But it is for non-implementation of the Accord by the government, which, even being in the power consecutively for 12 years over the last 23 years; and in addition, as a result of various activities and implementation the programs counter-productive to the Accord and interest of the Jumma people as well, the situation of CHT has got driven towards extreme discontent and eruption. 

In October 2020, 1 child got wounded in reckless firing of the army personnel; 5 innocent people were arrested from different locations and entangling them in false cases, were sent to the jail; 11 people were detained for no reason and brought out harassment; and 5 people were severely beaten up and given threats. Besides, an army camp was established by occupying a piece of land of a Jumma villager and cutting down teak plantation; and military operations were carried out in 9 villages including house searches. On the other hand, 2 Jumma students were physically tortured and and an effort was attempted to occupy lands of a Jumma villager.

October 2020 also witnessed the incidents of killing 3 persons, holding up and beating 2 persons, kidnapping 1 person and an incident of hijacking by the army-domesticated terrorists of Reformists, UPDF (democratic) and the ALP (Mogh Party) as a part of ‘blue print’ of the army. Besides, today, the public life has become undearable at their threatening, harassment, preence and unabated extortion. 

Within the month, two false cases were filed against 46 workers and supporters of PCJSS and villagers including other 25 unknown persons in two separate incidents. Needless to say, as it has been a practice, the PCJSS workers and supporters engaged in the movement for implementation of the Accord were falsely entangled in the cases at the directives of the army.

Two incidents of forcible occupation of lands belonging to native people took place at the initiative of persons and institutions from outside CHT. Besides, centering land occupation and a footmatch 5 Jumma people fell victim under communal attack. Needless to say that in recent days, incidents of forcible occupation of lands and homesteads of Jumma people by the Bengali settlers and various quarters coming from outside including the army and BGB on various pleas.

A. Atrocities of the Army

The army atrocities include: 1 child wounded, 5 persons arrested and sent to jail entangling in false cases, 11 persons held and harassed, 5 persons beaten up and given threatening, lands of 1 person occupied and an army camp established having teak plantation cut down and military operation conducted and searched 9 villages. Besides, 2 Jumma students were physically tortured and an attempt to occupy lands of 1 native was taken.  

1. On 3 October 2020, a group of army from Liragoi Army Camp under Rowangchhari Upazila held Ukyaw Mong Marma (46), an inhabitant of Chaw Hla Para under Aleikhyong Union of Rowangchhari Upazila from his house and detained him at the camp. It was known that he was released afterward. 

2. On 4 October 2020, a group of army commanded by Subedar Arif from Panchhari Army Sub-Zone under Panchhari Upazilla of Khagrachhari HillDistrict, held 7 innocent Jumma students from East Nalkata village and took them to the camp. After detention for 5 hours, they were released through the local public representatives and leaders. The students who were held are: Pulin Chakma (17), Atish Chakma (17), Junel Chakma (17), Pavel Chakma (19), Riken Talukder (27, Biken Talkder (24) and Sumentu Chakma (18).

3. On 6 October 2020, an army group commanded by Captain Md. Oali Ullah, Camp Commander of Ramgarh Batnatali Camp under Khagrachhari hill district arrested 3 Jumma youths from Nagel Para of Gorukata area. The arrestees are: Subel Tripura Sajal (25) of Ramgarh Jorichandra Para, Sathoi Aung Marma (28) of Aungthu Para under Rangarh and Jewel Tripura (28) of Rajendra Karbari Para under Dighinala. They were taken to the camp and after meting out torture, they were handed over to the Ramgarh police station with a broken LG cartridge gun, which was slipped in to build up a false case.

4. On 7 October 2020, Rishant Tanchangya (18), a student of Class-X of Baishari area of Nakhyongchhari Upazila under Bandarban Hill District, was severely beaten up with blows and sticks by 2 BGB personnel of Baishari BGB Camp, without any fault.  

5. On 8 October 2020, an army group picked up Indra Mohan Chakma (32) and Naromya Chakma (28) from Joy Mohan Chakma Para of Bandarban Sadar Union under Bandarban hill district. By the time picking up, 2 masked men were along with the army group. After being inhumanely tortured in the camp for a week, the army released them after taking them to the village at night.

6. On 8 October 2020, a patrolling group of army from Baghaihat Army camp, firstly searched the Ujo Bazaar and finding nothing there, they got into their vehicles and proceeding up to 200 yards from the Bazaar, they sprayed fire elsewhere around. At this, one Monimoy Chakma (12), an indigenous Jumma child received injury in the right hand. The injured Jumma child is son of Ukke Chakma of Eguchyachhari under Ward No-5. 

7. On 10 October 2020, a group of BGB soldiers numbering 10-12 personnel from Manugjoy para BGB camp of Nakhyongchhari Upazila under Bandarban hill district searched Kiran Tanchangya’s house. They rampaged the household articles. During the search there was nobody in the house. 

8. From 10 October to 14 October 2020, a 5-day military operation was conducted by the army from Ruma Army Garrison in 9 villages under Remakri Prangsa of Ruma Upazilla under Bandarban hill district covering Menron Para, Lenpung Para, Kista Para Tripura), Bishai Para (Tripura), Mungaha Para, Ramdu Para, Jigon Para, Eden Para and Kala Para. This transmitted a panic among the people living in and around and caused interruption in the public mobility. During the search, the army interrogated 4 Jumma villagers in ShamakhalMarma para and beat them severely.

9. Though the army went back on 15 October 2020 yet a new camp was being built some where near Kista Para of Remakri Prangsa Union of Ruma upazila. The camp has been built on the lands of Lawrence Tripura son of Lagna Tripura of Kista Para unnder Ward No. 7 of Galengya Union. The land was forcibly occupied and the teak trees were cut down to make space for the camp. 

10. On 16 October 2020, Aungsuipui Marma (50) of Moidaung Para under Chitmaram Union under Kaptai Upazila, was entagled in a false case and taken arrested. 

11. On 16 October 2020, a group of army led by Captain Oali Ullah, Commander of Batnatali Army Camp, conducted operation in Sindupara village and held one innocent villager named Kongjaw Marma (24). He was taken to the camp and after heavy torture on 17 October, he was projected in a false case by showing an LG gun and handed over to the police.

12. On 19 October 2020, the inhabitants of Sajek area under Baghaichhari Upazilla of Rangamati hill district, were corced to haul sands and water to the construction site of a Mosque being built by the army. On that day, Atulal Chakma, Ex-UP Chairman, Prodip Moy Chakma, a village leader, and Natunjoy Chakma, the village head were summoned to the Machalong Army Camp. Mohammad Mijan, Warrant Officer of the camp, with intimidation ordered them to continue to haul sands and water till the construction of the mosque gets ended, otherwise, cases would be filed against them – the officer threatened. 

It is to be mentioned that a mosque is being constructed at the Tourism site in Sajek of Rangamati and for construction work, sands and water are being collected from the local Sijokchara streamlet. Meanwhile, the local people of Sajek and Baghaichhari organized a demonstration demanding closure of construction of the mosque in the Jumma-inhabited area but yet the construction work continues.

13. On 22 October 2020, a group of army commanded by the Warrant Officer, Momin of Jakkha Bazaar Army camp under Bonjogichhara of Jurachhari Upazila under Rangamati hill district went on a patrol in the area of the inner Balukhali. On their way back, as they reached at Kusumchhari village, they picked up one Satyaban Chakma from his house. Satyaban Chakma is an inhabitant of Kusumchhari village of Ward No. 9 under Jurachhari sadar Union of Rangamati hill district. He is President of local Juba Samiti (Youth Association).

14. On 28 October 2020, the BGB personnel camping in Durga Moni Shonkhola Para of Panchhari Upazila under Khagrachhari hill district had a coercive attempt to occupy lands of one Ranga Chakma (35). The land was registered in the name of late Bhonga Chakma, grandfather of Ranga Chakma. By that time, as the villagers protested, the angered BGB members strengled Anupom Chakma (26) who participated in the protest and threatened all the protesting villagers of filing up case projecting all of them as terrorists and sending to the jail.

B. Activities of the army-backed Terrorist groups

The amy-backed terrorists of Reformist group, UPDF (Democratic) and Mog Party (Arakan Liberation Party), killed 3 persons; held and beat up 2 persons; kidnapped 1 person and committed a hijack.

1. On 1 October 2020, the Reformist and UPDF (democratic) terrorists camping at Jibtali under Rangamati Sadar upazila,with the direct support of the army, picked up 2 innocent villagers and brought out heavy torture upon them in their den. The victims are: Sona Dhan Chakma (40) of Harinchhara and Laichi Mong Marma (38) of Aungchihla Karbari Para. Later on, though Sona Dhan Chakma was released, the terrorists handed over Laichi Mong Marma to the local Jibtali Army camp around 6:00 p.m. 

2. On 10 October 2020, the army-sheltered Mogh Party terrorists from Bandarban town came by a motorbike and killed one Bacha Mong Marma, a pharmachist by shooting. The killers, also took away the victim’s motorbike after killing him. According to the sources, the army had a direct involvement behind the killing.

3. On 11 October 2020, three Mog Party terrorists including Abu Karbari (Marma) killed one motor-cyclist named Durjoy Tanchangya in Karigar para bazaar in broad day light. The sources confirmed the army’s directive behind the killing mission.

4. On 15 October 2020, Union Parishad member, Sau Prue Marma (42), was shot to death by the miscreants at Natun Para of Rowangchhari Upazila under Bandarban hill district. One villager seeking anonymity, informed that the UPDF terrorists carried out this incident because of a dispute among them.

5. On 15 October 2020, a 6-member Reformist and UPDF (democratic) terrorist group led by Biplob Marma and Monghla Marma fired aiming at Ananda Tripur’s shop in the village of No. 1 Rubber Bagan area of Wasu Mouza of Matiranga upazila. The customers staying in the shop saved themselves by fleeing away.

6. On 17 October 2020, the Reformist and UPDF terrorists snatched away cash 4,500 Taka and one mobile set from one Girati Tripura who is an inhabitant of No. 4 Prokalpa village of Ward No.7 under Matiranga Sadar Union of Khagrachhari district.

7. On 24 October 2020, the Reformist terrorists kidnapped an innocent villager from Radhamon Bazaar of Longadu Upazila under Rangamati hill district. The villager who was kidnapped identified as Ajoy Shing Chakma, an inhabitant of Choto Kattoli of Longadu Upazila. He is president of PCJSS local Village Committee.

C. False Cases against the PCJSS leaders and workers

This month witnessed 2 separate false cases filed against 46 persons of PCJSS leaders, workers, supporters and villagers and another false case was filed against 25 unknown persons.

1. Centering killing of a Bengali man dealing in fish in Rajasthali Bazaar, a false case was filed against 23 persons of local PCJSS leaders, workers and innocent villagers. Besides, in the false case, unknown 10/15 so-called ‘hill men armed terrorists’ were included. On 9 October 2020, the case was filed by Shanina Akter, widow of the deceased fish businessman Jalal Uddin, inhabitant of Bazaar Para area of No-1 Ghilachhari Union under Rajasthali Upazilla. The case was filed with Rajasthali Police Station reads: Case no-01, dated 09-10-2020, under section 143/448/02/120-B/34 Penal Code. Jalal Uddin wasshot by unknown miscreants at his house around 1:00 p.m. on 5 October 2020. Later on he was taken to hospital where the doctor declared him dead.

The falssively alleged 23 accused are: 1. Sifhanta Tanchangya (50), 2. Pulokhoy Marma (55), 3. Subhash Tanchangya (40), 4. Rahul Tanchangya (40), 5. Santalal Chakma (40), Robin Tanchangya (28), 7. Durjoy Chakma (28), 8. Shyamal Tanchangya (35), 9. Jackson Khyang (38), 10. Johny Marma (30, 11. Thuichinu Marma (45), 12. Mefa Marma (45), 13. Uchanu Marma Sagar (37), 14. Kyawba Marma (32), 16. Prasing Maung Marma (37), 17. Kajol Kumar Tanchangya (30), 18. Khaipai Prue MarmaPaiprue (42), 19. Amarajit Tanchangya (30), 20. Sangkulya Tanchangya, 21. Puloshi Marma, 22. Bachai Maung Marma (30) and 23. Radil tanchangya (42).

2. On 23 October 2020, centering the killing incident of one Ratan Chakma of Baghaichhari Upazila uner Rangamati Hill District, a case was filed with Baghaichhari Police Station falsively entangling 23 persons of local PCJSS leaders and workers in the case. Besides, 8/10 unknown persons were also included in the case as the accused. The Youth Committee member of Reformist Group, Himel Chakma (28) of Balukhali, filed up the case No.-05 dated 23/10/2020, under Section 148,149,302/34 Penal Code, with the Baghaichhari Police Station.

The persons gotentangled in the false case are: 1. Bora Rishi Chama (41), 2. Suatish Chakma, Tantu Mon (43), 3. Tridip Chakma alias Dip Babu, 4. Tuhin Chakma (30), 5. Palak Talukder (45), 6. Prabhat Kumar Chakma alias Kakoli Babu (58), 7. Daya Sindhu Chakma (40), 8. Buddhankur Chakma (30), 9. Sohag Chakma (23), 10. Shanti Bikash Chakma alias Mojakyaw (35), Monimoy Chakma (30), Bichakkhan Chakma (30) 13. Abiskar Chakma alias Manikya (40), Jupiter Chakma bappi (28), Subrata Chakma (34), 16. Suresh Chakma alias Biraj (50), 17. Bacchu Chakma (35) 18. Dilip Chakma (30), 19. Sohel Chakma (28), 20. Shanti Mohan Chakma alias Kalaiya (35), 21. Auto Chakma (30), 22. Bhagya Chakma (35), 23. Pranoy Kanti Chakma alias Tufan (33). 

CViolation upon Indigenous Women and Children

The month October has the record of raping 2 Jumma women and 2 were attempted to rape inside and outside of CHT.

1. On 7 October 2020 Abul Monsur, inhabitant of Ward No. 7 under Naranhut Union Parishad of Chittagong district attempted to rape an indigenous Tripura woman of West Chandpur Harinmara village under the same Union. The police arrested the accused-UP member Abul Monsur. 

2. On 9 October 2020, a mentally imbalanced Jumma Marma woman (40) was raped by by Mohammed Abu Taleb Saddam (27) forcibly taking her to southern market shed of Karigarpara bazaar of Raikhali Union under Kaptai Upazila of Rangamati hill district, in the darkness of dawn hours. The Chandraghona Police Station arrested the youth in the incident. 

3. From CHT, an indigenous Chakma young girl (18) who went to Feni to pay a visit to her relatives fell victim of raping consectively for twice in the Municipality area of Feni district at mid-night hours on 19 October 2020. The girl, herself, filed an allegation with the Feni Police station following which the police arrested the the two culprits. The accused were Md. Riaz (26), a rickshaw puller and Choton Chandra Shil (22), a worker of a Saloon. After the incident, the girl alleged about raping, herself, and her allegation was recorded as a rape case no. 38/600, dated 19/10/2020, under Penal Code Section-9(3), Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000 (Amendment 2003). 

4. Md. Shahin (22) and Shoukat Hossain (28), the two CNG auto drivers had an effort to rape one Marma College girl (19) while she was on her way from Bangalhalia CNG Stand of Rajasthali to Kaptai under Rangamati, as the CNG auto in which she was travelling reached at CO Side Road around 12:30 on 20 October 2020. The police held the accused from Raikhali area of Kaptai Upazila at quarter to 10:00 pm on that night.

DIllegal land occupation and communal attack by Muslim Bengali Settlers and Outside Quarters

At least 2 incidents of attempt to occupy lands forcibly by some persons and institutions coming from outside CHT in this month. Besides, centering disputes over lands 3 Jumma persons and 2 other Jumma persons centering a football match fell victim to communal attacks. 

1. One football team comprised of Jumma players participated in a tournamant organized by local Awami League leader and UP Chairman of Barnal Union under Matiranga Upazila of Khagrachhari hill district came under communal attack on 3 October 2020. In this attack, condition of 3 Jumma players was reportedly critical. The critically injured 3 players of Thaila Para-11 team are: Upen Marma, s/o Babu Master; Rimrachai Marma, s/o Nithoi Marma and Maungshi U Marma. Besides, many others sustained injuries. 

2. Centering over a land dispute in Aunghlari Para area near Yangsa Bazaar of Faisyakhali Union under Lama Upazila of Bandarban, the Bengali settlers attacked the Jumma people on 7 October 2020 and 3 people sustained injuries in this attack. The injured persons are: Chhamu Marma (60), Aungma Ching Marma (30) and Md. Shamsuddhoha (25). It was learnt that Shamsuddoha had been planning to occupy Chhamu Marma’s lands for a long period of time. On that day, both the sides were in a squabble that led to conflict.

3. An allegation reveals that approximately 2,000 acres of lands belonged to indigenous Mro ethnic people and permanent Bengali residents living in Doluchhari, Lulaing and Bomu Mouzas under Soroi Union of Lama Upazila fell under illegal occupation of ‘Quantum Foundatin’ since 2001. Victims of forcible land occupation of Quantum Foundation include not only the indigenous Jumma people but also the permanent Bengali residents and even in some cases, the Bengali settlers. 

Once again, allegation of forcible land occupation has risen up against the Quantum Foundation, as the Foundation occupied the agricultural lands and cultivated hill slope of one farmer named Abdur Rashid in Lama Upazila of Bandarban hill district. The victim farmer Rafiqul Islam, s/o Abdur Rashid and local people informed that the Quantum Fondation is occupying lands one after another. As the organization possesses money, power and manpower, no remedial measure is available upon allegation against the institution. Those who speak against the organization, they are entangled in numerous cases and harassed. Hence, Quantum is a name of a panic to the people living in the area. 

It is of worth-mentioning that the area measuring about 2,000 acres of land had been Jum-cultivating lands of the Mro indigenous people. It is due to illegal occupation of lands by the Quantum Foundation, 250 Mro families are being deprived of cultivating jum plots that they used to. As a result, their life and livelihood have fallen under threat. 

The Quantum Foundation has been occupying the already possessed lands of the Jumma people with the assistance of several local individuals in exchange of money. The technique, as has been learnt, is the lands after having purchased in personal name, is then handed over to the institution through performing a legal procedure of donation. It is learnt that the Foundation has more amount of lands that it occupied by using influence and power than that of the lands actually purchased. For instance, the Foundation has land dispute over 3.0 acres of lands belonged to one Mro family. 

There is allegation that the provision of obtaining prior approval from the Bandarban Hill District Council has not been complied while purchasing those lands. Not only that the Quantum Foundation also encourages the influencial and rich visitors coming from Dhaka to purchase the lands adjacent to the Quantum School and College. Thus, how the process of evicting the Mro people from their lands is being accelerated minutely.

Please also find Bangla report attached herewith.


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