Apr 24, 2005

Chittagong Hill Tracts: A Public Meeting Foiled by Army Personnel in Baghaichari

PCJSS of local union branch of Baghaihat under Baghaichari called a public meeting on the occasion of Bizu 2005 as well as regarding development project of UNDP at the house of Jyoti Lal Karbari at Gangaram Mukh village of Baghaihat

A public meeting foiled by army personnel in Baghaichari

On 4 April 2005 at around 12.00 a.m. PCJSS of local union branch of Baghaihat under Baghaichari called a public meeting on the occasion of Bizu 2005 (a traditional social festival of indigenous Jumma people) as well as regarding development project of UNDP at the house of Jyoti Lal Karbari at Gangaram Mukh village of Baghaihat area of Sajek union under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. Former union member Shanti Moy Chakma, Organising Secretary of PCJSS of local union branch led the public meeting.

Right at the said moment a group of army personnel led by Lieutenant Kaium of Baghaihat zone surrounded the place and participants of meeting. Thereafter, the army personnel noted down names and addresses of the participants and then they left the place.

Just after two hours of that event again a group of army personnel led by one major including the said Lieutenant came to the meeting spot and then they forced the participants to break the meeting. Even the army personnel ordered that nobody would be allowed to organise such a meeting in the area. The major aiming at Shanti Moy Chakma said that the meeting was foiled as per order of Commanding Officer (CO) of Baghaihat zone and Shanti Moy Chakma must meet the CO.

Later on 6 April 2005 at about 11:00 a.m. Shanti Moy Chakma met the CO and he had received an order from the CO that any kind of meeting regarding development or non-development would not be allowed at this locality except open Meeting with mike.

PCJSS leaders threatened by the DGFI

On 11 April, two PCJSS leaders, namely, Mr. Gyana Ranjan Chakma, Convenor of Naniarchar branch of the PCJSS and Mr. Siddhartha Chakma, PCJSS local leader, went to Khan Bari (district headquarter of the DGFI) at Tabalchari to meet with Major Siraj in request of Md. Jasim, an agent of Directorate-General of Field Intelligence (DGFI) at 7.00 p.m. During the meeting Major Siraj threatened the PCJSS leaders and asked the following questions:

1) Whether PCJSS would participate in the next parliamentary election and whether PCJSS would support Awami League nominee Mr. Shaktiman Chakma in the Parliamentary Election or would support Mr. Mani Swapan Dewan, present Deputy Minister of the BNP. The local PCJSS leaders replied that they did not know anything about the election.

2) Whether Samiran Chakma who surrendered to PCJSS quitting UPDF supplied arms for PCJSS. In reply, the leaders said that they did not know Shamiran and the questions asked by Major Siraj were not true.

3) Whether Ashapurna Chakma is engaged in extortion in Rangamati area and deposited it to Mr. Satyabir Dewan for various purposes including arms purchasing. The leaders replied that they knew nothing about this.

Major Siraj told them that he did not understand about the Unwritten Agreement between the government and the PCJSS what the PCJSS president has been raising in the public meetings and demanding for the proper implementation of the CHT Accord and withdrawal of all temporary camps.

Finally major Siraj threatened to death by Cross Fire all pro-accord activists including Mr. Satyabir Dewan and Ashapurna Chakma. He also motivatedly asked whether the Vedvedi area in Rangamati municipality is base area for the PCJSS. The leaders replied to the Major’s question is absolutely baseless. The Major also advised them not to mention (demand) the withdrawal of military and military camps. These would never be withdrawn from the CHT region

PCJSS leader insulted by army in Matiranga

On 6 April 2005 at about 10:00 p.m. a group of army personnel led by Major Babar of Matiranga zone surrounded the house of Amar Sing Chakma, president of PCJSS of Matiranga upazila committee of Khagrachari district. Then Major Babar brought an allegation to Amar Sing Chakma without any ground that PCJSS was responsible for the incident occurred at Nakkopara area under Matiranga upazila on 4 April 2005 where Surendra Karbari of Kholapara was kidnapped. At that time the army personnel motivatedly made pressure on Amar Sing Chakma to find out kidnapped Surendra Karbari. Even the said Major threatened Amar Sing Chakma that if he failed to do so Amar Sing Chakma would be faced severe consequences.

It is mentionable that Amar Sing Chakma is father of Jimpu Chakma who was killed by army personnel of Matiranga army zone through inhuman torture on 23 August 2004.

Besides, the army personnel of Matiranga zone led by Lieutenant Colonel Enaet Ullah physically tortured on the innocent returnee Jumma refugee of Chan Kumar Karbari Para village on 28 March 2005.

Expansion of APB Camp

The respective villagers of Tulaban and Kadamtali reported that a group of Armed Police Battalion (APB) personnel set up a tent on 1 April 2005 on the land of Mr. Tukkya Chakma, village of Kadamtali. This place is a middle point of Tulaban and Kadamtali village of Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. The villagers assumed that the APB personnel have been setting up this tent for expanding a camp on that land.

Bengali settlers rehabilitation in Baghaichari

300 Bengali Muslim settler families are being rehabilitated by the army at Baghaihat under Baghachari upazila of Rangamati Hill District. The Bengali settler families are being relocated to Baghaihat area from the surrounding area of Dighinala Cantonment under Khagrachari district.

This relocation is being undertaken by the army of Dighinala cantonment and Baghaihat zone It is also reported that more than 14 families have already been settled at Baghaihat Bazaar area and 117 more families will be brought under the relocation programme.

There is also plan to settle down Bengali on the roadside of Baghaichari-Baghaihat-Sajek. Decision has been taken to settle down 4000 families at Machalong area.

The day labors engaged in road construction work are the ones who have settled down there. Sajek road is one of the roads which is being constructed by the army and where all day labors are Bengali settlers.

Innocent villagers beat by the APB at Hazaribag area in Rangamati

On 17 March 2005, a group of APB members in disguise of general Bengali went to gather sand from Hazaribag area of Balukhali Union under Rangamati District by two boats. The owners of the under mentioned land requested the APB members not to gather sand while they were gathering sand from their land. But, at this, the APB members grew angry and began to beat the landowners. The victims are as follows-
1) Shantu Chakma (16), s/o Pradip Chandra Chakma
2) Binanda Chakma (36)
3) Nigaramoni Chakma (18), s/o Shashi Chandra Chakma and
4) Juddadhan Chakma, s/o Chokh Kala Chakma (a returnee PCJSS member)

Hearing shouting, publics came forward to rescue the landowners while they were being beaten up by the APB members who were in disguise of general publics. The rescuers realized only then that the disguised publics are the members of security force dressed in white apparels while they opened up their arms. Later, the commander of that group contacted with his senior officer on wireless set and became inspired to take some villagers as fugitive. Ultimately the APB members refrained from gathering sand due to strong protestation by the local people. The locals also showed agitation while the APBs tried to captivate Mr. Jiban Chakma (28) on their returning. Later, the APB members were compelled to leave the spot and anchored their boats at the jetty of Armed Police Battalion in Rangamati.

The local villagers complained that those white dressed APB members went to gather sand for several times from that area before with paying no cost for it.

UPDF Terrorists Kidnapped Twelve Jumma Villagers

On 17 April 2005, 12 innocent Jumma villagers were kidnapped from Alutila village of Vedvedi an outskirt of Rangamati town. The local residents accused the United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF) an anti-CHT Accord organization for this incident. The kidnapped persons are as follows-
1) Mr. Banamoni Chakma (35) s/o Debakya Chakma
2) Mr. Sunil Bikash Chakma (18) s/o Noadhan Chakma
3) Mr. Santimoy Chakma (35) s/o Bhula Chakma
4) Mr. Kripamoy Chakma (25) s/o Bhula Chakma
5) Mr. Lakshmimoy Chakma (32) s/o Bhula Chakma
6) Mr. Sundari Kumar Chakma (18) s/o Chida Chakma
7) Mr. Chuchyang Khula Chakma (50) s/o Kalabija Chakma
8) Mr. Durbasha Muni Chakma (40) s/o Lambashira Chakma
9) Mr. Bhagya Mani Chakma (18) s/o Biraj Mani Chakma
10) Mr. Kalachan Chakma (52) s/o Jambu Mani Chakma
11) Mr. Liton Chakma (18) s/o Sadhan Mani Chakma
12) Mr. Pathar Muni Chakma (35) s/o Debakya Chakma

It is learnt that a group of UPDF armed cadres came to Alutila village and cordoned it and searched every house of the village at 10 pm on 17 April. Later, the miscreants kidnapped twelve villagers on gun points. After the incident, panic prevails over the village and none dares to open mouth in fear.

The relatives of the victims contacted on 18 April to the UPDF office at Kutukchari which is very near to Kutukchari army camp. The UPDF leaders demanded heavy amount of ransom. At the last after paying ransom, the victims were released on last night of 18 April. On 19 April early in the morning, a group of army from Rangamati region rushed to the Katachari village and brought victims to the camp. The victims were kept whole day at the camp and interrogated them one after other. It is also mentionable that, one year ago, seven villagers were kidnapped from the very same village by the armed terrorists of the same organization UPDF, who were, later, released in exchange of heavy ransom.

Sama Odhikar Andolan called meeting in Khagrachari district

On 20 April 2005 communal organisation of Bengali Muslim settlers ‘Sama Odhikar Andolan’ (Equal Rights Movement) led by Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, MP from Khagrachari organised a public meeting at Mukta Manch in Khagrachari town against the PCJSS and its leader Santu Larma. Among others, local BNP leader Mr. Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan; his brother Mr. Belahet Hossain Bhuiyan, Chairman of Ramgarh pourashave; Mr. Joinal Abedin, Chairman of the Khagrachari pourashava; Mr. Mustafikur Rahman Maruf, general secretary of Sama Odhikar Andolan etc delivered the speech in the meeting. Some Jumma puppets, namely, Mr. Prabin Chandra Chakma, Mr. Animesh Chakma Rinku, Mr. Animesh Dewan Nandit, Ms. Deb Rani Chakma also attended the meeting.

Mr. Wadud Bhuiyan threatened that no obstacle would be tolerated if any body tried to do conspiracy against Bengali people in CHT and to prevent the movement of the Sama Odhikar Andolan. He also mentioned that he would take necessary actions against the elements who were engaged against the Bengali people.

Mr. Belayet Hossain Bhuiyan publicly declared that they would not tolerate PCJSS and its leader Mr. Santu Larma. They would crush PCJSS and its leader Santu Larma by hock and crock.

Fake leaflet published by the Wadud Gang

In April 2005 Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan gang published a fake leaflet in the name of some Jumma civil society leaders against the PCJSS and its leader Mr. Santu Larma. The leaders of the Jumma civil society whose names and signatures were printed in the leaflet complained that the Samna Odhikar Andolan, an Islamic communal organisation of the Bengali settlers led by Mr. Mustafikur Rahman Maruf, played active role to publish this fake leaflet. Mustafikur Rahman Maruf who was a leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League, student wing of the Awami League and joined BNP after 2001 parliamentary election has been working actively against the PCJSS and Jumma people with the direct support of the local army. The leaders of the Jumma civil society also mentioned that the army of the Khagrachari brigade might be involved to publish this fake leaflet. They also mentioned that the signatures printed in the leaflet were given on 28 February 2005 in protest letter against the Khagrachari Trade Fair.

It is not worthy that the trade fair was organised in Khagrachari by the Khagrachari district administration and Khagrachari Chamber of Commerce and Industry in March 2005. The leaders of the Jumma civil society protested against it as it would hamper candidates of the SSC and HSC examinations and would attract youth to involve gambling.

It is also mentionable that during the inauguration ceremony of the trade fair, Mr. Rokunuddin, Brigade Commander of the Khagrachari Region threatened the Jumma people that he would not tolerate any strike and road blockade programme. At that time, local Jumma people in support of the Jumma civil society and Khagrachari Citizen Forum called road blockade programme demanding stopping of the land grabbing by the Bengali Muslim settlers in Ghamaridhala, Lemuchari, Joysen Karbari Para, Nunchari of the Khagrachari and Mahalchari upazilas.

Source: PCJSS