Apr 19, 2004

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Report on military atrocity

PCJSS reports on violent clashes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region in April
Untitled Document

Report on military atrocity

Attack on Jumma people by Bengali settlers in Baghaichari:

On 10 April 2004 the Bengali settlers led by the following BNP leaders made a communal attack on Jumma people at Marishya bazar under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. In this attack, 5 shops and computer centres owned by Jumma people and some households of Babu Para village of Baghaichar upazila have been ransacked and looted.
The ransacked and looted shops and computer centres were:
(1) Shop of Hilahilly Development Foundation
(2) Srijani Computer and Photostat
(3) Tarumban Computer Centre and Printers
(4) Hill Season Art
(5) Rageni Radio & Watch Service

The main perpetuators who led the attack were:
(1) Mr. Azizur Rahman (Ex UP Chairman), s/o Hazi Toiyab Ali of Jibangachara village of Baghaichari upazila
(2) Mr. Giaz Uddin s/o Baja Ali of Master Para of Baghaichari upazila
(3) Md. Matin s/o Harun Moulavi of Madyam Para of Baghaichari upazila
(4) Mr. Shah Alam s/o Azahar Ali of Guchchagram village of Baghaichari upazila
(5) Md. Jamal, 30, a BNP leader from Hazi Para of Baghaichari upazila
(6) Md. Manik, 28, President of Chatra Dal (student front of BNP) from Baghaichari upazilla
(7) Md. Salim, 30, President of Shramik Dal (labourer front of BNP) from Bhagaichari upazilla
(8) Md. Surup, 45, ex Up member of Marishya UP in Bhagaichari Upazilla
(9) Md. Razzaq, 45, member of Marishya UP in Bhagaichari Upazilla

It was reported that a women named Ms. Fatema Begum (35) from Tulaban of Baghaichari upazila was brutally killed by some unknown person/s. But the Bengali settlers without any justification rumoured that the Jumma villagers killed her. Soon after receiving this rumour, the Bengalis attacked the Jumma people at Marishya bazar. But the Jumma people could narrowly escape from the attack. However, the shops and computer centres owned by the Jumma people were looted and ransacked. Valuables of shops and computer centres including at least five computers were completely destroyed and looted. The agitated Bengalis also tried to attack Jumma inhabited-village Babu Para.
It is mentionable that it is yet to clear who was/were responsible for the killing of Fatema Begum. Experience shows that the Bengali settlers kept dead body at the Jumma locality if any settler died due to internal clash between them in order to hide the crime and to accuse Jumma people for that. Local Jumma people believe that Fatema Begum might also be killed due to internal clash.
On the other hand, Mr. Sajal Chakma, General Secretary of Hilahilly Development Foundation failed to lodge case in connection with the destruction and looting of shops and computer centres with Baghaichari police station as the authority of Baghaichari police station did not agree to accept the case. In the statement of the proposed case, Mr. Sajal Chakma clearly mentioned the name of culprits, such as, Mr. Azizur Rahman, Mr. Giaz Uddin, Md. Matin, Mr. Shah Alam etc. The police authority tried to dictate Sajal Chakma to delete the name of culprits from the statement. But Sajal Chakma did not agree to do so.

Army operation at Hriday Member Para in Khagrachari

On 10 April 2004 a group army led by Lt. Ashraf from Chandra Para camp in Khagrachari sadar upazila conducted operation at Hriday Member Para of Alutila under Khagarchari sadar upazila in Khagrachari district. In this operation, the army arrested the following three innocent villagers in connection with a bus dacoity that made on 1 April 2004 at Alutila of Khagrachari-Chittagong road.
The arrested villagers were:
(1) Mr. Chandra Mohan Tripura (25) s/o Bishu Kumar Tripura
(2) Mr. Babul Jyoti Tripura (30) s/o late Nikhil Kumar Tripura
(3) Mr. Shyamal Jyoti Tripura (32) s/o late Nikhil Kumar Tripura

The victims were handed over to the Khagrachari police station. It is mentionable that the villagers of Hriday Member Para caught three dacoits and handed over them to the army on 1 April 2004. The villagers extended their helping hands to the administration to arrest the dacoits and to eradicate dacoity from the locality. But astonishingly the army have been harassing the villagers in connection with the dacoity.
On 12 April 2004 at 5.00 p.m. the army conducted operation second time at the village. During the operation, the army again arrested the following three innocent villagers. They were released at mid-night after brutally torture.
The victims were:
(1) Mr. Sunil Tripura (16) s/o Gokula Tripura
(2) Mr. Dayal Chakma, Garden Guard of CHT Development Board
(3) Mr. Kaloy Chan Tripura (17) s/o Ram Kishore Tripura

On 13 April 2004 the army conducted operation third time at the village. During the operation, the army threatened the villagers to produce dacoits within a short period to the army otherwise the villagers would be uprooted from the village.

Initiative to set up a new army camp at Panchari village of Ghagra of Kaukhali

Recently in the first week of April 2004 the Ghagra cantonment authority took initiative to set up a new army camp at Panchari village under Ghagra in Kaukhali upazila of Rangamati district. For this purpose, the army authority tried to acquire two acres of land from a villager of Panchari village. But the villager did not agree to sell his land. The army authority is giving tremendous pressure on the villager for the land.