Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is a military controlled area, where all the news are filtered by the military and the Bangladeshi government.CHT, where blood has shed for decades and hopes were burnt to ashes by the brutes, constitutes of people who want their voice to be heard. We are here to ensure that the voice of these unheard victims in CHT echo around the world despite the Bangladeshi government trying to suppress them in the biased state run media.
Our email : chtnewsupdate(at)gmail.com
JU violates CHT Accord seeking only DC’s certificate from CHT tribal students
Jahangirnagar University (JU), in its advertisement for admission for 1st year (honors) course (session 2011-12), sought only tribal certificate of Deputy Commissioner (DC) of concerned hill district from tribal (indigenous) students of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in case of application for tribal quota.
Leaders of the indigenous students in JU said that seeking only certificate of Deputy Commissioner is completely violation of the CHT Accord signed in 1997 between Government of Bangladesh and the PCJSS.
It is mentionable that CHT Accord of 1997 authorizes only three Circle Chiefs of CHT to provide permanent resident certificate in case of identifying permanent Bengali residents and tribal certificate in case of identifying a tribal person to which ethnic group he/she belongs. The provision of the Accord has been included in the three Hill District Council Acts passed in the Parliament in 1998.
It is also worth mentioning that violating the said provision of the Accord and three HDC Acts, on 21 December 2000, the Ministry of CHT Affairs (MoCHTA) issued an instruction authorizing the Deputy Commissioners of the three hill districts, side by side of Circle Chiefs, to issue “Permanent Resident Certificate”. It was a complete illegal instruction, since such an executive order cannot override an expressed provision of the law passed on the floor of parliament. As objection was raised by the CHT Regional Council, a decision was taken to annul this order at a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the MoCHTA on 1 July 2001. But no order was issued canceling that controversial instruction so far. It is also a fact that no provision of the law in Bangladesh under which a Deputy Commissioner of a district including the hill districts can issue such a permanent resident certificate. The Deputy Commissioners are onl! y authorized to issue citizenship certificates under the “Charter of Duties of Deputy Commissioners”.
In complying with the said provision of the Accord and three HDC Acts, other public universities in Bangladesh including Dhaka University and Chittagong University seek certificate either from Circle Chief or Deputy Commissioner.
Indigenous students alleged that in providing certificate to tribal students, office of the Deputy Commissioner are harassing tribal students. It is learnt that tribal students have been asked to submit application for tribal certificate along with the certificate from chairman of concerned municipality or concerned union council to the concerned Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO). After receiving application, UNO authorizes Upazila Agriculture Officer to verify whether applicant student is tribe or not. After verification, UNO sends recommendation to the Deputy Commissioner.
Indigenous students also alleged that in some cases, tribal students are asked to submit land document of father/guardian to prove a permanent resident of the concerned hill district.
It is mentionable that CHT Accord provides lands of lawful entitlement in the hill districts in case of identifying "Non-tribal Permanent Resident". The provision clearly stipulates, "Non-tribal Permanent Resident shall mean a person who is not a tribal and who has lands of lawful entitlement in the hill districts and who generally lives in the hill districts at a specific address”.
Tribal student leaders argued that as per above-mentioned provision of the Accord and three HDC Acts, submission of land document is applicable only for non-tribal permanent (Bengali) residents, but not tribal residents. They also alleged that seeking land document from tribal is nothing but to harass the tribal students.