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Saturday, February 19, 2011

One year of Baghayhat Communal Attack

One year of Baghayhat Communal Attack

Today exactly one year has passed since the horrific occurrence of the massive communal attack on indigenous jumma village in Baghayhat by the military forces and Bengali settlers. On this day, Bengali settlers put 450 houses of Jumma villages (including school, Buddhist temples and churches) on fire-- the fire that still burns in those Jumma eyes that saw everything destroyed to ashes.  Two indigenous villagers--  Buddhapudi Chakma (34) w/o Uttam Chakma of Baghaihat Gucchagram and Mr. Laxmi Bijoy Chakma (30) of Golakmachara-- were shot dead by the military forces and atleast 5000 indigenous Jumma villagers became victims to the incident.

Later on, the communal attack spread to Khagrachari district; the Bengali settlers attacked the Jumma people’s localities with the direct help of law enforcement forces. Around 60 Jumma families have lost their houses, and belongings that were completely destroyed by fire. Several Jummas were also injured in this attack.

Even after one year of the incident, just like all other communal attacks that took place before on the Jumma people, this incident has not been justified yet.  And in the meantime some quite annoying Political dramas had been going on: Awami Legue and opposition party BNP blamed each other for the incident. It had also quite amused people because the two political parties just made their contribution to the incident more obvious by acting like two people trying to get rid of a crime by blaming each other. Even the military came out to be dramatic with their trying-to-make-the-incident-justified-by-illogical-explanations. The most nonsensical statement from the military was that, Laxmi Bijoy Chakma and Buddhapudi Chakma were shot dead by the blank fire from military. People getting killed from blank fire is probably most prevalent only in Bangladesh,where the BD Army is the shooter and Jumma peoples are the victims. The Bangladesh army had further ridiculously claimed that indigenous peoples set fire to their own houses. As if anyone would do that!

On 21st February 2010, State Minister of the Ministry of CHT Affairs Dipankar Talukdar while visiting Baghaihat area assured the Jummas that action would be taken against those responsible for the attacks within the next seven days. However, we are still wondering how many days/weeks/months/years make seven days for Mr. Dipankar Talukdar? It seems like he is trying to redefine “seven days”.

And the State Minister of Home Ministry gave false hopes to the Jumma people when he visited the affected area on 24th February 2010, and told,"the incidents of killing, arson, and looting at Baghaihat and Khagrachari were not desirable in a democratic and independent country of Bangladesh . It was possible only by the Pak Raider Army." It was really just a just a fabricated way to show make-believe sympathy or to wash the eye of the Jumma people.

A five-member-Parliament-committee was formed to investigate the whole incident, led by Shah Alam MP. But, the investigation report was never made public. So, we don't even know whether there was an investigation at all or not! No one knows how long it will be until our questions are answered and the investigation is complete. If finishing the investigation stays pending until a second communal attack occurs,-- which in turn will demand for more pending investigations that won’t be completed by the time another attack occurs-- the purpose of creating such reports is lost.

On this weekend when the Jumma peoples are all mourning, remembering the bloodcurdling attack of last year, another communal attack by the settlers and law enforcement agencies on Longudu has added to their awful memories. Now these people are losing hopes for peace.

Last but not the least, we pray for the departed soul of Buddha Pudi and Laxmi Bijoy Chakma. Hope they have found Peace in the heaven and are in a better place, where there is no reason to be scared of apathetic human beings like Bengali settlers or the military.


chtnewsupdate team

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