UPDF enforces student strike in CHT
New Age Staff Correspondent
The Pahari Chhatra Parishad backed by United People’s Democratic Front on Thursday enforced a student strike at educational institutions in Chittagong Hill Tracts in protest against ‘imposition’ of Bengali nationality on the ethnic minorities and demanding cancellation of the provision from the 15th amendment to the constitution.
All schools and colleges in the areas dominated by the UPDF remained closed the strike was observed partially in other areas of CHT.
New Age correspondent in Khagachari said the strike was observed at most of the schools and colleges in the district although a few Bengali students attended classes at Natun Kudi school and Cantonment School and College in the district headquarters.
The correspondent in Rangamati said the strike was observed in Naniyarchar, Rajasthali, Baghaichhari and Kawkhali upazilas and at Kudukchari near Rangamati town. But classes were held at Rangamati College and Rangamati Mahila College. No untoward incidents were reported.
The PCP president Aongya Marma in a statesment thanked the students, teachers and guardians for observing the strike and called on them to be prepared for further movement to realise the demands of the hill people.
He said Bangladesh was not the country of a single nationality rather it was a multi-national, multi-lingual and multi-cultural state. ‘The government is plotting to erase the identities of all national minorities by imposing Bengali nationality on them. The national minorities will never accept it,’ he said.
He said the government also retained the provision of ‘Islam as the state religion’ making the people of other faiths ‘second-class citizens’ which could not be imagined in a civilised and democratic society.
The organisation also demanded recognition of all national minorities, declaring Chittagong Hill Tracts as a special autonomous zone, recognition of their traditional land rights, withdrawal of military and removal of the Bengali settlers from the hills.
The UPDF has also announced a ‘blockade’ of roads and waterways in the three hill districts for July 20 and 21 to press for the demands.
courtesy: New Age