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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Indigenous Chakma woman allegedly murdered after gang rape in Khagrachari

Indigenous Chakma woman allegedly murdered after gang rape in Khagrachari

 

On 15 February 2014,an indigenous Chakma woman named Sabita Chakma (30) was allegedly murdered after gang rape by a group of Bengali settlers at Chengi chor area of Kamalchari union under Khagrachari sadar upazila in Khgagrahari district. 

It is learnt that, as a daily routine, Sabita went out to nearby Chengi River to collect food for their cattle in the morning on the incident day. Her neighbours saw her in meadow while she was collecting grass before12:00 noon. Sabita’s neighbours including her husband went back home for a lunch break. In the mean time, Sabita’s husband was worried when she was not coming back home even after lunch time. He along with the villagers started searching her and later at around5.30 pm, the villagers spotted the naked, dead body of Sabita Chakma in a crop field nearby Chengi Chor. The police of Khagrachari sadar and military of Bhuachari camp jointly rescued the dead body from the spot of incident.

It is also learnt that, some Bengali labourers were loading up a truck with sand near the crop field at the time when the victim was last seen alive. The villagers alleged that these Bengali labourers killed Sabita Chakma after raping her one after another, because Sabita’s belongings were found near by the truck. After killing her, culprits dragged the dead body roughly 10/12 yards away from the spot. The Bengali settlers also snatched the gold chain from Sabita’s neck.

Police took the dead body to Khagrachari sadar hospital in the evening of the day for autopsy. Sabita’s husband filed a case in this connection with Khagrachari police station against truck driver named Md. Nizam. Besides, the labourers who engaged in extracting sand during the incidents were identified as-

(1)Md. Razzak, resident of Bhuachari cluster village (however staying at Ganja Para)

(2)Ziaul Haque, resident of Bhuachari cluster village

(3)Md. Anowar, resident of Bhuachari cluster village

(4)Mr. Lasu Marma, resident of Ganja Para.

Police could not arrest anyone yet. Indigenous peoples organisations organised protest in Khagrachari, Rangamati, Chittagong and Dhaka and demanded to arrest the culprits and to provide examplary punishment to them, to provide adequate compensation to the victim’s family, to rehabilitate Bengali settlers outside CHT with dignity and to implement CHT Accord in order to ensure security of indigenous women in CHT.

It is important to mention here that this type of sexual violence on the women of Kamalchari union is not an isolated incident. Another indigenous housewife was hacked to death after rape on 1 October 2011 in this area.


Rape and other kinds of sexual abuse against indigenous girls have continued in Chittagong Hill Tracts region regularly, since the Bengali settlers were illegally settled in the indigenous inhabited area.

Few months ago, On 11th September 2013, an 11year old indigenous Chakma girl was raped by a Bengali settler named Md. Johir (45) son of Abdul Aziz at Rangi Para of Bogachodor union under Longadu upazila in Rangamati district.

It is learnt that the victim had been suffering from an epileptic seizure since her childhood. Her parents took the victim 5 days ago for her better treatment to their neighbour Md. Johir when they came to know he is an expert on epilepsy related disease. On incident’s day, Md. Johir took her away alone in nearby banana garden in the name of magical therapies as well as religious healing to ward off evil spirits and appease deities from her body. The culprit Md. Jahir raped the indigenous girl there.

The girl reported her mother after coming back that she was forcibly raped by perpetrators Md. Johir. When the news flashed in public, the Bogachadar UP member of Ward No. 1 Md. Dewan Mansur Ahmed Chowdhury tried to minimize the problem secretly creating pressure on victim’s parents and indigenous communities. On 12 September, a local arbitration was arranged by said UP member to settle the case internally by fining the culprit taka 60,000 as a compensation of the rape. According to the decision of local arbitration the culprit would pay the amount of compensation by 15th September. In the mean time, police from Longadu police station received news of this incident and visited the incident area for the investigation on it further.  

The victim’s father Potya Kumar Chakma filed a case with Longadu police station, but police could not arrest the culprit yet. The victim was admitted with Rangamati hospital for her better treatment.  The Magistrate of Rangamati sadar recorded a statement of victim under Section 164 in the mean time with a Chakma male interpreter while victim’s parents were not allowed to stay inside during the statement.


Also, on 10 August 2013, a 13-year old indigenous Chakma girl from Chadarachara village of Ward No. 5 under Atarokchara union of Longadu upazila in Rangamati district was believed to be abducted by a Bengali Settler Md. Kamal (30) of Ward No. 4 under the same union. The victim was a student of grade five of Bhangamura Model Government Primary School.

It is learnt that Md Kamal was a fisherman. Few days ago of the abducting day, he started staying at Pravat Chakma’s home for 3 days with the purpose of fishing. After leaving the host’s home, on mobile phone, Md. Kamal invited to girl’s parents to visit his house on the occasion of Eid. Mr. Pravat answered with an innocent mind that he and his wife will not be available at home for next 3-4 days for an important family program. The villagers believed that by that time Kamal might abduct the girl when he became confirmed that girl’s parent left home for few days already. It is noteworthy that there were no proper windows fixed up in Pravat Chakma’s house due to lack of money. As a result, abduction of the girl forcibly from such this poor house structure was a bit easy for him. Soon after abduction, the victim’s father Pravat Chakma filed a General Diary (GD) (GD no. 434) with Longadu police station on 14/08/2013. Police could not take any action to rescue the girl yet, and no one is arrested as well.


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courtesy:

Kapaeeng Foundation

(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)




 


 

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