ATTACK ON CHT COMMISSION’S MOTORCADE
Civics group leader on Thursday demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of those responsible for the attack on the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission.
Speaking at a human chain in the front of National Museum in the capital, Gono Oikkya convener Pankaj Bhattacharya said the attack on CHT commission’s representative was not a stray incident. He said a ‘bare-minimum democracy’ does not exist in the CHT area.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong said that if the government feels that the state is for all citizens, the government should come forward to protect the rights of indigenous people.
Worker Party of Bangladesh leader Fazle Hasan Badshah, MP, said radical groups are active in the CHT area as the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord is yet to be implemented.
Earlier, the International CHT Commission blamed the department of forest and law enforcement agencies, especially Border Guard Bangladesh, for land grabbing in the hill districts.
The commission alleged the civil administration and law enforcement agencies in the hill districts were reluctant to ensure security of the commission members when their motorcade came under attack in Rangamati on Saturday.
Commission member Iftekharuzzaman, also the Transparency International Bangladesh executive director, along with two others, was injured in the attack while settlers were demonstrating against the commission’s visit to the hill districts, accusing it of being biased towards hill people.
Columnist Syed Abul Maksud, lawmaker Ushatan Talukdar, Association for Land Reform and Development executive director Shamsul Huda, Filmmaker Rashed Rain and Jagannath University teacher Razib Mir also took part in the human chain.
The Daily Star, July 11, 2014
State favouring Bangalee settlers
Rights activists tell protest programme on recent attack on Int'l CHTC team
The state always protects the Bangalee settlers and their different organisations unleashing terror on indigenous people and the visiting human rights delegations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts repeatedly, Rangamati MP Ushatan Talukder and several rights activists said yesterday.
The observations came in response to the government's inaction over bringing to justice the Bangalee settlers who attacked a delegation of International CHT Commission in Rangamati on July 5.
“The people of the region want to live without a constant fear of attack. We will know that there is democracy in the region when the attackers are punished,” said Talukder, addressing a human chain in front of the National Museum under the banner of Nagorik Shomaj to protest the attack.
Pankaj Bhattacharya, presidium member of Gonoforum, said there was no democracy in the hill tracts as the region was still heavily militarised. “Eminent citizens of the country have often come under attack in the region while the state has remained inactive,” he said.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Sanjeeb Drong said if the government believed that the state belonged to all citizens, including the indigenous people, it must punish the attackers.
Workers Party lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha and noted columnist Syed Abul Moksud also spoke at the event.
The Independent, Friday, 11 July 2014
Author / Source: Staff Reporter
The assailants who attacked the motorcade of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Commission recently are still moving freely, flexing their muscles though they have been identified, alleged speakers at a rally condemning the attack. Criticising inaction of the authorities concerned, Professor Mesbah Kamal of the Department of History of Dhaka University and chairperson of Research and Development Collective, said, “Despite a case being filed and there being clear evidence who made the attack on the commission’s motorcade, nobody has been arrested yet in connection with the incident.” “We have information that Somo Odhikar Andolon was behind this incident,” he added.
“If the administration and law enforcers could not ensure security for renowned right activist like Sultana Kamal and the executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), how would they ensure safety of the common people?” he questioned.
He told this correspondent that during the regimes of General Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad, around four lakh Bengali settlers were sent to the Chittagong Hill Tracts and till date they are propagating to drive away the hill tract community to grab their land and property.
However, these Bengali settlers are violating the rights of the indigenous people of the hill tracts under the protection of the armed forces of those areas. Fazle Hossain Badsha,MP, president of the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous People, said, “Although the attackers have been identified, the local administration has kept completely mum on the issue.”
Columnist Syed Abul Maksud and Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, also spoke.
The rally was organised by some civil society groups in front of the National Museum in the capital yesterday.
Daily Sun, July 11, 2014
‘Extreme communal forces active in CHT’
Nagorik Samaj forms a human chain at Shahbagh in the capital on Thursday, protesting the recent attack on the members of International CHT Commission. SUN photo
Extreme communal forces became active in Chittagong Hill Tracts due to non-implementation of the CHT peace accord, speakers at a human chain said on Thursday.
They said the attack on International CHT commission members at Rangamati on July 5 is tantamount to a blow on the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Affairs.
A civic group arranged the human chain in front of National Museum in the city to protest the attack on CHT commission members by Bangalee settlers.
Addressing the event, United National Awami Party president Pankaj Bhattacharya alleged that Samo Odhikar Andolon, an organisation of Bangalee settlers, is being operated under the shelter of the government. He called upon all to join movements for establishing rights of indigenous people.
Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong condemned the attack on eminent citizens at Rangamati and urged the government to take steps to arrest the attackers.
Workers Party general secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha MP, Jana Sanghati Samity vice-president Ushaton Talukder MP, and columnist Syed Abul Maksud, ALRD executive director Shamsul Huda, among others, also spoke.
Please find Bangla news reports:
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Courtesy of Kapaeeng