Jun 13, 2008

Chittagong Hill Tracts: 12th Anniversary of Abduction of Kalpana Chakma

Sample ImageThe Hill Women's Federation (HWF) have participated in a human chain demonstration at Dhaka University to demand the immediate publication of inquiry reports and the bringing to justice of those responsible for the abduction of Kalpana Chakma, former organising secretary of HWF, who was taken from her home of New Lalyaghona village of Baghaichari upazila under Rangamati district by a group of army and VDP personnel on 12 June 1996. Ms Chakma is still missing today, feared dead.

Below is a press release issued by Kapaeeng Watch:

On occasion of 12th abduction anniversary of Kalpana Chakma, on 12 June 2008 Hill Women's Federation (HWF) organised human chain at Dhaka University demanding immediate publication of inquiry reports and examplary punishment of the kidnappers.

The human chain with placards started at 10.30 in front of Fine Arts Institute of Dhaka University with HWF president Ms. Shaswati Chakma in the chair. Around 200 students, leaders of the student organisations, women rights activists, human rights activists, environment activists etc participated in the programme. Among others, president of Sammilita Nari Samaj Ms. Farida Aktar, presidium member of Workers' Party Ms. Hajera Sultana, women affairs secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Dr. Dipu Mani, president of Karmajibi Nari and presidium member of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JASAD) Ms. Shirin Aktar, leader of Samajtantrik Forum Ms. Tahera Begum Joli, leader of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad Ms. Fatema Khatun, former president of HWF Ms. Choitali Tripura, teacher of Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of Dhaka University Mr. Robaet Ferdous and Ms. Kaberi Gain, teacher of Department of Linguistic of Dhaka University Dr. Sourav Sikder, teacher of Department of History of Dhaka University and general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Odhikar Andolon Mr. Mesbah Kamal spoke at the programme. Besides, leaders of the Hill Students Council (PCP), Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha (BNPS), Garo Indigenous Michik Association (GIMA), Ain O Salish Kendra, Sampriti Manch, nari Grantha Probartana, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, Bangladesh Adivasi Student Action Council, Parinesh Bachaon Andolon, Ubinig, and Nagarik Sanghati etc. extended solidarity by attending the programme. The programme was facilitated by Ms. Nishi Dewan, assistant general secretary of HWF.

In her speech, Ms. Farida Akter said that demanding of the punishment of the kidnappers of Kalpana Chakma is not only demand of HWF, but demand of all women movements of the country. The abduction of Kalpana Chakma is an example of military violence against indigenous women in the CHT. We all should unitedly stand against such atrocity.

Hajera Sultana said that no sooner of the incident, we demanded judicial inquiry and accordingly government formed an inquiry committee. But till to-date the report of the committee is not published. She demanded immediate publication of inquiry report and examplary punishment of the culprits.

Shirin Akter also demanded to publish white paper on this incident. She urged masses to participate hill people movement against land grabbing and violence on indigenous women.

Dr. Dipu Mani said that like abduction of Kalpana Chakma, human rights violations are going on unabated in CHT. These incidents should be brought under trial.

Choitali Tripura said that after the abduction of Kalpana Chakma, many elected and non-elected government assumed to the state power, but no initiative has been taken to publish inquiry report. She demanded immediate implementation of CHT Accord and inclusion of special provisions for indigenous women to recently adopted national women development policy.

Tahera Akter Joli urged all the women across the country to participate united movement against state violence on indigenous women in CHT. She alleged that government did not punish Captain Ferdous involved to the abduction of Kalpana Chakma, rather awarded him promotion.

Dr. Sourav Sikder alleged that government formed inquiry committee only for eye-wash. Robaet Ferdous said that since 1971 military rule has been continuing in CHT. He opined that Bangladesh is not only for Bengali Muslims, but is a multi-ethnic country. It is mentionable that on 12 June 1996 prior to 7th parliamentary election, Ms. Kalpana Chakma (23), organising secretary of HWF was abducted from her home of New Lalyaghona village of Baghaichari upazila under Rangamati district by a group of army and VDP personnel from Kojoichari camp led by captain Ferdous. Due to tremendous pressure from national and international community, the government formed an inquiry committee. But the report of the inquiry committee is yet to be published. It is feared that she might have been killed.