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Mayhem at Mahalchari

An investigative report on army and settler sponsored violence against indigenous Jumma peoples at Mahalchari under Khagrachari district of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Embargoed for: 1 October 2003

Hill Watch Human Rights Forum


Address: 388 Jagannath Hall, Dhaka University, Dhaka - 1000, Bangladesh

Email: hwhrf_99@yahoo.com

Mayhem at Mahalchari

Table of contents
1. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................... 3 2. WHY THE HWHRF INVESTIGATION TEAM?................................................................................ 4 3. A PRE-PLANNED ATTACK FOR GRABBING THE LANDS?........................................................ 5 4. KILLINGS ................................................................................................................................................ 6 CASE 1: KILLING OF NINE MONTHS OLD KIRITON CHAKMA ....................................................................... 6 CASE 2: KILLING OF MR BINOD BIHARI KHISA .......................................................................................... 6 5. WOUNDED............................................................................................................................................... 8 CASE 1: NIDARSHAN KHISHA ..................................................................................................................... 8 CASE 2 : TESTIMONY OF MITA CHAKMA, VILLAGE: NUA ADAM (PAHARTULI) ......................................... 9 6. RAPE OF JUMMA GIRLS AND WOMEN .......................................................................................... 9 CASE 1: RAPE OF KALA SONA CHAKMA................................................................................................... 10 CASE 2: RAPE OF OTHER JUMMA GIRLS AND WOMEN ............................................................................... 10 7. TORTURE/BEATING........................................................................................................................... 11 CASE 1: TORTURE OF MONGSANGYO MARMA ......................................................................................... 11 CASE 2: TORTURE OF RONEL CHAKMA .................................................................................................... 11 CASE 3: ASSAULT ON BINIMOY CHAKMA................................................................................................. 12 CASE 4. TORTURE OF SUDDATTA CHAKMA .............................................................................................. 12 CASE 5: BEATING OF MR NARAMYA CHAKMA......................................................................................... 13 CASE 6: TORTURE OF MS BADI MILA CHAKMA ....................................................................................... 13 8. ARSON AND DESTRUCTION ............................................................................................................ 13 CASE 1: TESTIMONY OF MADHAB CHAKMA ............................................................................................. 13 CASE 2: TESTIMONY OF MOTHER OF ARCEMEDES CHAKMA, CHAIRMAN, MAHALCHARI UNION PARISHAD PAHARTALI ............................................................................................................................................... 15 CASE 3: TESTIMONY OF MR SHUSHIL MITRA CHAKMA ............................................................................ 15 CASE 4: TESTIMONY OF MODHU CHANDRA CHAKMA .............................................................................. 15 CASE 5: TESTIMONY OF MOTHER OF DIPAYAN, HERENGYANAL............................................................... 16 CASE 6: TESTIMONY OF MAYA LAKSHMI CHAKMA (35 YEARS), HERENGYANAL .................................... 16 CASE 7: TESTIMONY OF MRS. BUROBI CHAKMA (85), BOIDYO ADAM .................................................... 16 9. ATTACK ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ............................................................................................. 17 CASE 1: TESTIMONY OF REV. SHASHANAPRIYO STOBIR, PRINCIPAL, AMRAKANAN BUDDHIST TEMPLE, BABUPARA ............................................................................................................................................... 17 CASE 2: TESTIMONY OF BHANTE (BUDDHIST MONK), SHANTI NIKETON BOUDDHA VIHARA, PAHARTALI ................................................................................................................................................................. 18 CASE 3: TESTIMONY OF SIDENGMU CHAKMA (42), DURPUJYANAL, ARJYO MITRA BUDDHA VIHARA .... 19 CASE 4:TESTIMONY OF SHANTYA CHAKMA (46), DURPUJYANAL ............................................................ 19 10. SHAM REHABILITATION AND RACIST POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES.......................... 19 11. THE IMPUNITY IN THE CHTS ....................................................................................................... 21 12. RESPONSIBILITY UNDER NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW.................................. 22

13. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................24

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1. Introduction
On 24 August 2003, a Bengali Hindu named Rupan Mahajan was allegedly kidnapped by some miscreants from Mahalchari area under the Khagrachari district of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. Instead of taking measures against those who kidnapped Mr Mahajan, Bangladesh army and illegal1 plain settlers launched a pre-planned attack on the indigenous Jumma villages on 26 August 2003. The Bangladesh army personnel and illegal plain settlers launched a pre-planned attack on the indigenous Jumma villages and completely burnt down ten indigenous Jumma villages - Babupara, Nua Para, Pahartuli, Durpujyanal, Herengyanal, Boidyo Adam, Basanta Para, Rameshu Para, Saw Mil Para and Lemuchari under Mahalchari Upazilla (sub-district) under Khagrachari district of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. Hundreds of indigenous peoples fled from their villages and were displaced. Nine months old baby, Kiriton Chakma was snatched from grand mother, strangulated to death in front of his grand mother, who was then raped by Bangladesh army personnel. About 10 Jumma women out of whom four were girls were raped by the illegal plain settlers and security forces during the attack. Two parliamentary teams one from the government and the other from the opposition political party, the Awami League visited the affected areas respectively on 8 and 9 September 2003. No concrete measures have yet been taken to uphold the rule of law and punish the culprits. The government promised to provide paltry Taka 2000 (about US$40) to the families but many have not received anything at the time of writing this report. Any government, which believes in governance, cannot tolerate such lawlessness by the security forces. It must uphold the rule of law. Instead of providing relief to the victims and bring the culprits to justice, the Bangladesh army have been harassing people for giving interviews. As The Independent reported on 25 September 2003 after spot visit to Babupara and Limuchari there was no sign of relief, rehabilitation or reconstruction work. Rather witnesses who made statements to human rights groups and pressmen from Dhaka are now reportedly being interrogated and harassed by the authorities. The Independent correspondent was not allowed to meet about 10 rape victims. Hundreds of military personnel have cordoned off entire Mahalchari area and restricted entry of outsiders.2 Mr Pradeep Chakma (30) s/o late Khulo Moni Chakma of village Pahartuli, Mahalchari, Khagrachari district gave interviews to the Parliamentary Team of the government, which
1

. The illegal plain settlers were brought into in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in clear violation of the Chittagong

Geneva Convention prohibits such population transfer.


2

Hill Tracts 1900 Regulation restricting the entry of outsiders in the hill tracts. Moreover, article 49 of the Fourth . Hill peoples tale of woe, The Independent, Dhaka, September 25, 2003

http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/sep/25/25092003mt.htm#A1)

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visited the area on 8 September, and to the Awami League team on 9 September. He helped the Awami League team to interview the affected villagers during its visit on 9 September. He also helped the journalists interview the affected people. After each interviews, the Zone Commander Lt. Col. Mohammad Abdul Awal called him to the camp and threatened him. He asked how much Taka he had received for helping the Awami League team. Since then, Pradeep Chakma has been living in fear. His house was also burnt down on 26 August 2003. Bangladesh is party to a number of international treaties including International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and ILO Convention No 107 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. International treaties and Constitution of Bangladesh require the government to take effective measures against such discriminatory practices by the government. Since the events, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia called a meeting. The Prime Minister once again referred to restore law and order. Hill Watch Human Rights Forum firmly believes that lawlessness increases alienation and lack of faith in the functioning of the democracy.

2. Why the HWHRF investigation team?


In order to investigate the incident a team of the Hill Watch Human Rights Forum (HWHRF) visited Mahalchari area on 4 and 8 September 2003 for on the spot investigation. Since the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord, such large scale organised attacks on indigenous Jumma peoples had not taken place. Although, skirmishes between the illegal plain settlers and indigenous peoples sometimes occurred, indigenous Jumma people believed that such organised atrocities will not be perpetrated after the signing of the Peace Accord. The Mahalchari incidents shows that organised repression and dispossession of the indigenous peoples are not pass in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. When the Hill Watch Human Rights Forum reached Lemuchari village on 4 September 2003, the army were still camping there. The HWHRF witnessed burnt houses on the either side of the road in this area. Considering the retaliatory action from the army, the team decided not to halt there. At about 11 a.m., the team reached Babupara in Mahalchari proper. Every house in the area was burnt to ashes. Charred beams of the houses were still standing as if to testify to the horrible destruction. Ashes and clinkers were strewn all over the area while off-white smoke was billowing slowly from a few burnt houses even nine days after the mayhem. A few families took shelter in makeshift tents at one corner of the village. The HWHRF wanted to interview these victims. But none would open their mouth, too terrified to speak due to fear of the army who were deployed there. The HWHRF team
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was also informed that army have also been deployed in Rameshu Para and Saw Mil Para. The other villages that were attacked - Nua Para, Pahartuli, Durpujyanal, Herengyanal, Boidyo Adam (Basanta Para) - located further away from the Thana headquarter and no army was deployed in these villages. The team moved to these villages and started the investigation process. The same picture of charred villages was witnessed all over. The whole area looked almost deserted. Only few people returned after the incident. The Hill Watch Human Rights Forum team interviewed 21 persons, which included eyewitness and victims. On 8 September 2003, the HWHRF team again visited the affected villages. The army was still deployed there. This time team interviewed the victims at Babupara, the epicentre of the violent attack. The team also visited the Amra Kanon Buddhist Temple, which was also attacked by the army and settlers. Some Jumma people have taken shelter in the temple. The team interviewed twelve persons during this time.

3. A pre-planned attack for grabbing the lands?


While the kidnapping of Rupan Mahajan might have triggered the attack, tension has been brewing in these areas as the illegal settlers have been attempting to grab the lands of the indigenous Jumma peoples. The continuing transfer of the illegal plain settlers is one of the root causes of the conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. On 24 December 2001, following the general elections, the local Member of Parliament, Mohammad Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan made an attempt to settle 175 illegal settler families in Lemuchari. This resulted in a near-clash between the illegal settlers and the indigenous Jumma villagers. The local Union Parishad Chairman, Mr Arkemedis Chakma told HWHRF that he had to intervene to defuse the situation. He further stated that the Police Superintendent was also present there. However, when the indigenous peoples and illegal settlers were about to reach a settlement, the settlers attacked him in front of the Police Superintendent. He was seriously wounded and had to be treated in the hospital for many days.3 After the kidnapping of Rupan Mahajan, Bangladesh National Party President (Mahalchari sub district) Dewan Morshed Abul Kalam Azad and Pradeep Chowdhury of Bangali Samannoy Parishad called a meeting in the afternoon of 25 August 2003. A few army personnel warned some Jummas on the same day that illegal settlers might attack the Jumma villages. In the name of staging demonstration they beat up the UP Chairman of Shindukchari Union and kept him in detention for the whole night on 25 August 2003. The following day, that is 26 August 2003, at around 10 in the morning, the illegal Bengali settlers in a large group came to the market and sought to close down the shops. As the indigenous peoples protested, they retreated. After sometime, the plain settlers and the Bangladesh army personnel under the command of Lt. Col. Abdul Awal, commander, Mahalchari zone, came to the shop belonging to Binod Bihari Khisha at Babupara. The
3

. Ibid.

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illegal settlers beat him up there. In order to save his life, he went up to the army for safety. But Major Moazzem caught him by his neck and strangled him. He was half dead by then. Moazzem then threw him into the hands of the settlers who hit him with stick and iron rods. Affected indigenous Jumma leaders alleged that the main aims of burning down the villages were first to occupy Jumma land; second, to loot the houses; third, to crush the economic backbone of the Jumma people so that they can later buy their lands at a cheap price. The illegal plain settlers and the security forces subsequently attacked all the neighbouring villages and burnt them down in four hours.

4. Killings
The killing of indigenous Jumma peoples by the Bangladesh army is a common in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Incidents such as the attack on Mahalchari areas only provide an excuse. Case 1: Killing of nine months old Kiriton Chakma During the attack on the indigenous Jumma villages, nine months old Kiriton Chakma was killed by the Bangladesh army. Mrs Sonabi Chakma (25) of village Herengyanal provided the following testimony to the HWHRF team about the killing of her nine months old baby, Kitiron Chakma: That day was Tuesday and it was about 12 noon. The name of my kid was Kiriton, nine months old. It was a boy. I was carrying him and fleeing towards the jungle but caught by the army. My mother then came to rescue us and took my son. However, she was caught by 4/5 army men. They snatched my child and strangled him to death in front of my own eyes. We saw all these in our own eyes from a place not far from there. We also saw the army sexually abusing (raping) my mother. Having seen all these, we fled from there further into the jungle. At around five in the afternoon I met my mother again she was completely devastated, shocked, fearful and shaken. Case 2: Killing of Mr Binod Bihari Khisa Mr Binod Bihari Khisha was caught by the illegal settlers and severely beaten. He was then handed over to the army who then tortured him to death. Ms Jotsna Khisha, wife of slain Binod Bihari Khisha, Babupara provided the following testimony to the HWHRF team:

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To begin with, we opened up a shop. Vegetables are also sold here. A little later out of the blue they came and started rampaging, breaking bamboo-made baskets (locally called harang), and ransacking the shop. They were 10.12 in number. They came making hue and cry. When we all protested and resisted, the Bengali boys went back. But after 10/12 minutes they came back chanting slogans. They were now in large numbers. Later the Jummas saw that there was army along with them. Then all (Jummas) retreated. My husband was in the shop. He placed trust in the army. He might have thought that since there was army nothing bad would happen. This might be the reason why he did not escape. He was beaten up and chopped with sharp implements. I was present there. As I heard screams I ran away. One army man pointed his gun at me. My son and his friend Ronel were also present there. After some time he (my son) was following me behind. He was drenched in blood. At first I thought it was brushfire, but in fact he was bayoneted. I bandaged his hand with a piece of cloth and helped him walk some time. After taking him few yards I bandaged his hand again with a gamcha (a kind of towel). From there I carried him in slow paces. By that time Babupara had been filled up with army and settlers. That's all. We are now in very pathetic condition. My husband is no more. We need a lot of money. What shall I do? I am at a loss. Nothing comes to my head. I do not know what to do. My situation is very pathetic. ... We heard that he did not die here. He died only when he was taken to the cantonment. The torture was so severe. We heard that he wanted to drink water, but he was denied. We believe that if he had not been tortured there he would not have died. Some people saw him being beaten up and chopped. The dead body was then taken to Khagrachari. From there he was taken to the house of Cholabap, then to Thana (police station). On Thursday his dead body was released from Thana and was cremated. I have not received any compensation from the government to this day. Neither is there any co-operation from them. Mr Krishna Bikash Khisha, (32 years), Employee, Mahalchari College, Resident, Babupara was a witness and stated the following: On that day, I mean 26 August, at about eight in the morning we went to the shops at Babupara and buying this and that came back at about nine. A little later we heard that some 4/5 Bengali boys came to Babupara shops and asked the owners: why have you kept open your shops? Without waiting a reply another Bengali boy hit Binimoy Chakma with a stick. There were 15/20 Jummas at the shops. The Jummas resisted and warned them not to bother with those shops. They then went back. After half an hour the Bengalis came back in large numbers to mount an attack. There were army along with them. When they reached Babupara, Mr. Binod
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Bihari Khisha faced up to them to discuss the things. His son Nidorshon Khisha was also there. When his father was being roughed up he ran up to his father to save him. He was also beaten up and bayoneted. There was a rumpus and after hearing all these, we went near to the shops to see what was going on there. We saw him being taken into the village of Babupara while bleeding. The Bengalis then became clamorous and started to come to our direction. They were in attacking mood. We felt insecure to stay back and shifted to a safer place. From there we saw the Bengalis torching the houses of Babupara. We saw black smoke belching from the burning houses. Even at this time we were around Babupara. For an hour we saw them burning all our houses. We then slowly slipped into the jungle. When we reached the village of Kerengyanal we saw four boats load of army men coming. When they came they fired three shots from their guns. They then burned down the houses. We saw these in our own eyes. Both Bengalis and army went there. They were possibly 80/90 in number.

5. Wounded
Case 1: Nidarshan Khisha Among those who were seriously injured was Nidarshan Khisha (20). His father, Binod Bihari Khisha was tortured to death by the settlers and Bangladesh army. In an interview to the team of the Hill Watch Human Rights Forum, Mr Nidarshan Khisa stated the following: The day, 26 August, was market day. The Jummas were laying out their merchandise for sale. At that time a group of Bengali people came with stick and started to oust the Jummas and ransack the shops belonging to the Jumma people. The Bengalis were about 5 - 6 in number. As the Bengalis doing this we saw Jumma people were running away. A few of us came forward and the Bengalis made a retreat. After their retreat, we started to fix the merchandise. A few minutes later they came back in large numbers and started to pelt brickbat and mud. It was 8:10 a.m. A few seconds later the army came and joined the Bengalis. My father (Binod Bihari Khisha) was in the forefront - about 200 yards from us. The army caught him. To rescue my father a friend of mine and I went up to the army. But the army detained us too. There were Bengalis along with the army. They (the Bengalis) were trying to snatch us from the army so that they could beat us up. At first the army refused to let them beat us up. But a little later I saw the Bengalis clubbing my friend Ronel Chakma. And they were trying to rough me up too. I tried to evade them but an army man hit me with a stick from behind. I fell on the ground. When I got up the
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army men held me. They hit me with fist from all directions. One of them bayoneted me. When I saw blood dripping from the wound I felt dizzy. I ran away from there and halted at the tamarind tree in our village. There I met my mother and my cousin Dimond Chakma. They bandaged my wounded hand with Gamcha (a kind of towel). From there we saw the Babupara Buddhist temple coming under attack by a huge crowd of army and Bengali civilian. We then ran away first to Durpujyanal and then to Herengyanal. Here I met some of my friends. As we were taking some rest, we heard someone shout: "Army is coming, army is coming." My friend Bablu was helping me to walk along. At that time the army came nearer and was spraying bullets on us. We ran away as fast as we could and whichever way we found. I forgot all my pains and ran away. I reached Hengelchari. From there I was taken to Rangamati. When the army men were beating Ronel and me, the Bengalis were looting and ransacking the shops belonging to the Chakmas. In a word, it was a joint attack with two captains leading the army. I should note here that one day before the incident, that is 25 August, some army men came to the Chakma village of Babupara and cautioned: "the Bengalis would possibly launch attack, so be careful". Case 2 : Testimony of Mita Chakma, Village: Nua Adam (Pahartuli) As Babupara was raging in fire, we became scared and ran away. We got into a boat and were going towards the direction of Herengyanal. On the way the army, who were also in a boat, saw us and was running after us. We got to a burning ground (where dead bodies are cremated) and hid ourselves there. We were 11 of us in two boats. The army and settlers also reached after us. Then we all jumped into the water. My youngest daughter was behind me. The Bengalis caught her and chopped her with a dao. She was crying: Mother! I am dying. I am dying. I then came up to the shore and barged in between her and the Bengalis. I said to the Bengalis: this is my daughter. Don't beat her; rather beat me. Then one army man called out: bring her here, bring her here and don't beat her. They then took her up to him. The army gathered all of us and searched the bags we were carrying with us. After that they let us go and they set fire to other houses before leaving.

6. Rape of Jumma girls and women


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (also known as Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance), Abdelfattah Amor4, after his visit to Bangladesh in May 2000 reported, women from minorities and ethnic communities were vulnerable to violence
4

. Amor is presently Chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Committee monitoring implementation of

the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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from outside their communities.. Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian women were obliged to endure a climate of insecurity, due to an increased risk that they would be assaulted (notably in the form of sexual harassment and rape). This increased risk stemmed from the repercussions, within Bangladesh, both of international events concerning their community (for example, the anti-Hindu attacks which included a significant number of rapes during the Ayodhya episode in India), and/or of the socalled honour question. With respect to the latter question, it appears to be established and common practice that attempts to subject, or commit violations against minorities and ethnic communities should take the form of threats, or actual assaults (in this instance rape) on the honour of women, who represent the honour of the whole community. This occurs, for example, within the context of conflicts, for the appropriation of property, etc..5 Women and girls are specifically targeted and the main victims of violence. In the attack on the villages, which lasted about four hours, nine women were raped by the Bangladesh army and the settlers. Case 1: Rape of Kala Sona Chakma Ms Kala Sona Chakma, grand mother of nine months old baby Kiriton Chakma provided the following testimony to the Hill Watch Human Rights Forum Team: The settlers left after setting fire to the houses. We were running away. My daughter was fleeing carrying the baby with her. She was being beaten up. I ran up to her and took the baby from her. After that my daughter fled from there. Eight Bengalis and five army men caught me. The baby was crying aloud. They strangled him dead in front of me. Then they raped me. Of the five army men, three kept aloof. Two of them raped me. After that they went back and I was looking for our people. Case 2: Rape of other Jumma girls and women In addition to the rape of Ms Kala Sona Chakma, according to The Independent, 10 Jumma women and girls were raped by the Bangladesh army and settlers. HWHRF was able to the following Jumma women, four of whom are children: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
5

Mrs. Mita Chakma (35) W/O Shasho Dhan Chakma Bonita Chakma (15) D/O Shasho Dhan Chakma Khuki Chakma (12) D/O Shasho Dhan Chakma Amiti Chakma (14) D/O Sudatta Chakma Maya Laxmi Chakma (20) Chitkala Chakma W/ O Kala Uda Chakma Badi Mila Chakma (30) W/O Bimal Chakma

. A/55/280/Add.2

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8.

Gitanjali chakma D/O Nonabi Chakma

7. Torture/Beating
Indigenous Jummas continue to be subject to torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment. The attacks provide necessary excuse to perpetrate torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment.

Case 1: Torture of Mongsangyo Marma Mr Mongsangyo Marma of Babupara, Mahalchari narrated the following to the HWHRF team: At that time I stopped working and was going back home. The army caught me and beat me up and after that handed over to the Bengalis. I ran away and jumped from a bridge. Then the Bengalis caught me again and boarded a vehicle. I was taken to the camp and beaten up again. My hands were tied together. The army did it. After that I was taken to Khagrachari Hospital. I did not know the name of the army men, but I did recognise the Bengalis. They are from the place just near where Chidol (pest of fish or shrimp) is sold. They were possibly more than one thousand in number. They were armed with dao (a kind of sharp knife) and stick. The army were carrying their guns. They called me terrorist. ....I do not know exactly. I am a day labourer. My house has been burned down. Actually, at that time I became senseless. I was in a state of fit 2/3 times. Case 2: Torture of Ronel Chakma Mr Ronel Chakma, age 17, s/o Khokon Bikash Chakma of village Babupara narrated the following: The incident occurred on that day at about 9/9:30 a.m. I went to the shop and bought a razor blade. The Bengalis came with market bags in hands to disguise as shoppers, but were forcing the shops to shut down. They hit me with stick. At first I was struck twice. Later when our people came they ran away. We chased them with sticks in our hands. Later they came back together with the army. The army appeared suddenly from the side of the settlers and pointed their guns at us. The Commanding Officer, himself was present and called me. I went up to him. He started to beat me. I ran away and jumped into the water. When I was in water, the settlers chopped me with dao. I was caught and taken to the Zone. Later I was handed over to the police.

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At Zone we were beaten up severely. They hit us in the chest, in the back and in the legs. We were put on a saline drip - Monsangyo and me - and shifted away. The army branded us as terrorists. They called us terrorists while beating. I was witness to the torture to death of Binod Bihari. He was an old man. He was beaten up here (on the spot). He was also tortured there (at the Zone). The army did it. They kicked him. His legs were tied. He asked for water and was given. He died after drinking water. And the army threatened us to hang us upside down from a tree. Order to this effect had come from the top, they said. I will not be able to recognise the army, except one. He has very dark complexion. The police said we would be killed. They bundled Binod Bihari by the hands and feet and threw violently in to the jeep. He was not dead by that time. He died after being taken to the Zone. I have not recovered completely yet. I was in hospital for more than a week. My family's condition is beyond description. We have become penniless. Everything has been destroyed. Not only our family but also all in the village. And physically I am not in good condition. Case 3: Assault on Binimoy Chakma Mr Binimoy Chakma, age 45, Babupara, Employee, Family Planning Visitor narrated the following to the HWHRF team: The incident happened all of a sudden. I was hanging out in the market. Some Marma women from Tholipara came to sell vegetables but they were not being able to go to the market. It was market day. 2/3 Bengali boys came following behind me which I did not notice. They started to kick me. Near to me I saw the nephew of ..... (uttered someone's name) . I know that boy. I said to him, "Bhaiput, (nephew), why are you doing this?" He said, "shut up!" Then he gave me a punch in the nose. I know the boy by the face, but don't know his name. By the time a lot of people gathered. I slipped from there and went to Hengelchari. Case 4. Torture of Suddatta Chakma Mr Suddatta Chakma said that he had collapsed after beating. He did not remember what happened after that. Later he found his family members pouring water on him. According to his wife, the settlers left him behind after beating. She poured water on his head and he regained consciousness. My daughters jumped into the water. I then screamed: oh, your father is dead! your father is dead!! Then we took him up the hill top. By that time, the army had left. We then helped him board a boat.

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Case 5: Beating of Mr Naramya Chakma Mr Naramya Chakma, 28 years, from Herengyanal, was beaten up first by the illegal settlers. Then the army had their bout. They caught him by his neck, punched in the chest, hit at the back with stick. He was bearing torture marks of the beating. Case 6: Torture of Ms Badi Mila Chakma Ms Badi Mila Chakma (40) of Herengyanal narrated the following to the HWHRF team: They (Bengalis) were beating us up with wood sticks. I got 4/5 lashes. My sister also got her share. After beating us up, they set fire to the houses. We jumped into the water. The army lifted us into their boat and took us away with them. They took us to a place where the Bengalis beat us up again. The army looked on while the Bengalis were beating us up. When we begged to them to save us, they pointed their guns at us.

8. Arson and Destruction


According to preliminary estimates a total of 379 families were affected as the army and the illegal settlers burnt down 10 indigenous Jumma villages. A total of 10 villages were completely burnt to ashes. HWHRF was able to collect the number of families affected in the following villages: 1. Babupara and Marma Para 2. Pahartuli and Nua Adam 3. Saw Mil Para 4. Rameshu Para 5. Kerengyanal 6. Durpujyanal 7. Lemuchari 8. Boidyo Adam and Basanta Para Case 1: Testimony of Madhab Chakma Mr Madhab Chakma (35), a businessman of Babupara narrated the following to the HWHRF team: At first 5/7 Bengali boys came. Market has opened on the road of Babupara. The Chakmas came and buying and selling things. At around 10 a.m. the Bengali boys came. They were forcing the Jummas to shut down shops and close the market, and started ransacking the shops. The Jummas protested and resisted. It turned into a clash which lasted a few minutes. The Bengali boys went back. But they turned up again taking army along
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78 families 64 families 25 families 32 families 70 families 23 families 63 families 24 families

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with them. The army first called Rabindra and a few others who were standing at the Sluice Gate. They thought nothing would happen. The army asked them to throw away the sticks. They obeyed and went up to the army. The army caught and handed them over to the Bengalis. They (the Jummas) were four of them. Another one had managed to run away. When they were being beaten up we felt insecure to stay there any longer. Both army and Bengalis took part in the beating. We thought the army would be a little bit impartial and settle the issue between the two communities. As the army did not do that we were compelled to run away from the scene. When we - my brother and me- reached near our house, but could not decide what to do. Later we decided to be on guard at the house. We did not move anything from the house. A little later we saw they reached at the culvert and was encircling us. We then left the house and fled. Both army and Bengalis were there. The Bengalis were many about four to five hundred. They were all from Mahalchari - both Hindu and Muslim. We fled from there and the Bengalis came and torched our houses. It was exactly half past ten when they set fire to the houses. First Nipul Master's house was torched, then Nabin's and our's. And then the house of Doctor Pratul and others... At that time we reached there (showing a direction). We halted somewhere and saw they were advancing and some of them actually reached the temple. What they did, we could not see. Later we crossed the river. But the Bengalis reached there too and started to set the houses on fire. We could not stay there too. And we moved toward the cottage. But we came across the army there. The army asked us to stay at the cottage. It was Bano Bihara cottage. But we fled from there too because we could not trust the army. We went to Kerengyanal. There we heard fire shots. A few rounds of brush fire. It was from the army. And we fled in to the jungle. The army and settlers burned down Boidyo para and Hemonto para.. ... about 2/3 hundred houses. They also beat up people, looted the houses and snatched away gold ornaments from women. The army rounded up an employee at night at Babupara shops. It's about 12 midnight. They beat him up, searched for arms and asked about terrorists and extortionists. He is well known as Chikkomoni bap (Father of Chikkomoni). On the night of 25 August the Bengalis ransacked and looted another shop, beside the one where he (Chikkomoni Bap) was beaten up. When the Bengalis were doing all this, the army was patrolling at the Sluice Gate. Everything in Babupara house has been burned down. It's my brother's house, where I lived. We have a house at Jaganatali. Now I am living there. Cases have been filed against us. It's a kidnapping case against 4/5 of us.

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Case 2: Testimony of Mother of Arcemedes Chakma, Chairman, Mahalchari Union Parishad Pahartali Army and Bengali came together. The Bengalis were both Hindu and Muslim. The army was carrying arms. How can we face them? Yes, we ran away. And then the army set fire to the houses. Those who ran away to Kerengyanal heard that Pahartali was being raged. The boat got to the bank rather in a rush. They went in a boat and opened fire. I mean, the army opened fire. And we were compelled to run away. Both army and Bengalis came in two boats. When running away, some fell in front of them - the Bengalis. And whoever they caught hold of, they snatched away gold ornaments from them. One little boy was running away. He dashed to a tree and I do not know whether he died there. And here, one almost died from torture. He became unconscious. He came to his senses only after pouring cold water on his head. Some were thrown into the water. The women were fleeing in a boat. All of them were beaten up. The army took away Taka 8 thousand from the father of Bikiron. They snatched gold ornament from the Old lady. She was wearing a chain around her neck. They took it too. They took all. If it were only the Bengalis, we could have resisted. It's the army who did all these things. If the Bengalis had come alone, we would not have run away. We ran away because of the fear of the army. Case 3: Testimony of Mr Shushil Mitra Chakma Mr Sushil Mitra Chakma, age 50, father of Arcemedes Chakma of village: Pahartali provided the following testimony to the HWHRF team: The loss of our property in the attack will amount to Taka 40 lakhs. The incident first occurred at Babupara. Then they came in this direction. From here they moved northward while setting fire to the houses. They were 90 per cent Hindus and 10 per cent Muslims. Along with them was Bangladesh army. They committed looting and arson. Case 4: Testimony of Modhu Chandra Chakma Mr Modhu Chandra Chakma (42 years) of Nua Adam (Pahartali) stated that the settlers and the army burned down all of Pahartali. The number of houses in Pahartali and Saw Mil Para would be about 55. All of them burned down.

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He spent one and half lakhs to construct his house. Apart from this, there were furniture, clothes, rice and all other things that were burned down. The estimated loss could be three lakhs. Case 5: Testimony of mother of Dipayan, Herengyanal We saw the people running away from Babupara and we saw the houses being raged in fire. Later, there was a clamour: they are coming, they are coming. We too ran away from our houses. When we were running away, the army reached here, and opened brush fire. One boat carrying the army got here. And they came in another boat from the direction of "the Bock". Our boat and the army boat got the bank at the same time. We left our bags and baggage in the boat. All of them lost - sacks of rice, cloths and bags, chest etc. We just ran away carrying one bag each. They cut holes in our boat. All that we left in the boat were lost. They torched 47 houses. Case 6: Testimony of Maya Lakshmi Chakma (35 years), Herengyanal It started from 8 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday. The army came and opened fire. As soon as they opened fire, we jumped into the water. We hid ourselves under the reed in the water. A child was crying. The army found him. Along with the army were five Bengalis. A little later a boat came. It's the commander of the army who came in this boat. The army C.O. or whoever I don't know. He asked us where did we live? We said we live here. Then he asked: "don't you have man with you?" We said, "No, we are only female here." We pleaded with him and said, "we beg you to save our lives. Please don't kill us. We are very innocent people". We are crying then. They left us but a Bengali snatched away a gold chain from me. Case 7: Testimony of Mrs. Burobi Chakma (85), Boidyo Adam They asked me: who is the owner of this house? I said, "I am". Then they said, "Ok ok". They were speaking in their own language. The Bengalis were gathering coconut from the tree. They got down and I came here (showing a place). They were looking at me. I thought they would leave me soon without doing any harm. So I moved here (showing a place again). Then they suddenly set fire to the house. I have problem with eyesight. I rushed to where the fire caught and tried to put out. The Bengalis left. Only a few things could be saved. I took out the dishes and plates and bowls while the fire was raging. How do I feel now? You can imagine how I could be. I have to live on the open ground. And the hot and humid temperature is tiring and unbearable. I have to eat rice that was burned. It smells bad and is not worthy of eating. Relatives are giving cloths.

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9. Attack on religious freedom


The religious freedom of indigenous Jumma peoples and their children are seriously violated in the CHTs, Bangladesh. Whenever the indigenous villages are attacked by the illegal settlers and the security forces, the statues of Lord Buddha, temples and monks become the obvious targets. The attack in Mahalchari is no exception. Four Buddhist temples were burnt down, statues were broken apart and the monks were threatened with physical assault and shooting. Case 1: Testimony of Rev. Shashanapriyo Stobir, Principal, Amrakanan Buddhist Temple, Babupara The incident occurred on 26 August. It started at about 8/9 a.m. With the start of the incident, the villagers came here (temple) and took shelter. After some time, it was revealed that the Bengalis were coming with army. Hearing that army was there, the people who came here no longer felt secure in the temple. They came to the temple with the belief that they would be safe here as it is a religious place. The incumbent headman Mr. Shudhangsu asked, "Bhante, what will you do? Do you want to go with us?" I said, "I won't go. I will stay like a Bhante". An elderly man Mr. Adi Ratan also stayed with me. I noticed the army and Bengalis coming. I thought let them come. Then we entered a room. I told him (Adi Ratan) to shut the door. So we remain locked inside the room praying to the Buddh, Dharma and Sangha and the Bano Bhante. A little later, the army and the Bengalis came. The door at the temple was open. The door at the dining was open. But the door and the windows of my own room were shut. They noticed it. A Bengali, may be a Bengali settler, said, "Sir, there are people inside". We shut the door from inside. Sure to raise suspicion. There must be people inside. And they started to pull the door, but could not open it. Then they started to bang at the door. Then I was only calling the Buddha. I was praying to him to save me. They kept on banging and hitting at the door. A small part of the door was broken. Look, it's still there (showing us the broken part of the door that was still lying). Then another thought came to my mind. If they open brush fire at us, then? I asked Adi Ratan to open the door and he did. Still I did not move. They were searching everything in the room. As they did not find the key of the cupboard, they broke it. The robes I kept on the bed were thrown here and there. Later a settler took a glance at where I was, but did not notice me. Half an hour had passed. I thought they had gone. Then I broke my meditation. I sat on the chair in the room, and saw there were some army and settlers near the
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door. Seeing me, they said, "here is the Sadhu, here is the Sadhu (monk)". They said, "where did you go when we were banging at the door? Why didn't you open the door?" The army called me "shalla" (bastard) and said, "I will shoot you. I'll kill you. I'll arrest you". One Bengali showing his crescent-shaped dao said, "I will chop you". I said, "ok go ahead". I further said, "I was in the middle of my meditation. You forced me to ask that old man to open the door. If I stayed for half an hour longer in meditation, I am sure you would have broken the door entirely." Pointing his gun right at my chest, the army said, "I'll shoot you". I said, "ok shoot me. As you have arms and power, shoot me. The settler said, "I will cut you to pieces." I insisted and said listen to me. I was telling him again and again that we were in meditation. But he would not understand it. Later when I told him that we are followers of the Bano Bhante, he calmed down. This is not the end. You know Amalendu Barua? His son also came along with them. At first I could not recognise him. But he recognised me. He introduced himself to me and said, "Bhante, I am the son of Amalendu babu". Then I recognised him. He asked me not to be afraid. There was another Bengali settler with them. He worked here when we were hauling bricks and sands to construct the dining room. He was smiling and said, "Sadhu, don't worry". The name of the son of Amalendu Barua is Tapas Barua. The army said they were searching for arms. They said show us the arms. I asked, "why arms here? Who will keep arms here?" The army said, "there are arms on the roof". I said, "how will arms go there? Even there is no passage to go up there." He said that they had recovered arms. I asked him where did they get them and told him that they could go where they got those arms. I said, "Buddhism is based on non-violence. You know, this is an arms (showing his gun). We cannot touch it. We cannot even touch bows and arrows." He again told me that they had recovered arms. I too gave the same answer for it, and added saying, "if any of you Bengali people keeps those arms secretly, then who is to blame?" He kept mum and did not give any answer. Slowly he softened. Later they said, "Sadhu (saint), sorry, we have given you much trouble". Having seen Mr. Adi Ratan, they said, "what were you doing?" He replied, "I was praying." A little later, I came out of the room and saw everything was ransacked. The cupboard was broken. Over there I saw all the houses in the village were burned down. The houses were in flames. This is what I have to say. Case 2: Testimony of Bhante (Buddhist monk), Shanti Niketon Bouddha Vihara, Pahartali

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They hit the statue of the Lord Buddha. Not only that, fans, glasses - practically everything was either destroyed or ransacked. They also looted away some buckets and which could not be taken away were chopped up. Case 3: Testimony of Sidengmu Chakma (42), Durpujyanal, Arjyo Mitra Buddha Vihara Five or six army men came. Along with them were Bengalis. There was a statue of the Lord Buddha which was made of bronze. They took it away. And here is another Buddha statue which they broke. Other things in the temple were ransacked. The army came and entered it. They came from Mahalchari zone. Case 4:Testimony of Shantya Chakma (46), Durpujyanal They looted everything - from utensils to the statue of Lord Buddha. One Buddha statue was broken down. 12 inches tall statue. The army first searched the houses and then the Bengalis set fire to them. They are from Mahalchari, about one kilometer from here.

10. Sham Rehabilitation and racist policies and programmes


The government of Bangladesh has publicly acknowledged its racist programmes like providing of free rations only to the illegal settlers who were transplanted into the Chittagong Hill Tracts under a planned Population Transfer Programme from 1978 to 1983. In August 2002, the Joint Risk Assessment Mission of the Government of Bangladesh, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other donor agencies studied the security situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts for undertaking development activities. The UNDP and Government of Bangladesh in their Joint Risk Assessment Report stated: The pervasiveness of poverty is also signified by the large number of Bengali families who have continued to receive rations since the 1980s. The number of households is currently 28,200, which at around 5.5 persons per family equals almost 140,000 persons or over 10% of the current population. On the spot checks reveal that many migrant villages in land constrained conditions, strive to receive rations, because no rice can be grown there. A question should be raised how long one can maintain some 10% of the population on rations. An inquiry should reveal whether local livelihoods are truly unsustainable and deserve long term food support and whether other solutions should be sought. (Page 46) Whether local livelihoods of the illegal settlers are truly sustainable or not, it is clear that the government of Bangladesh sustains the conflict in the CHTs by giving free rations to the illegal settlers.

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The fact that indigenous Jumma peoples are not provided any such facilities is a clear act of racial discrimination in violation of the provisions of the Bangladesh constitution and Bangladeshs obligation under international law.6 In addition, the government provides about 60 kg rice per hill refugee family each month while a plain settlers family is given 85 kg rice since.7 In late July 2003, the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) of the government of Bangladesh directed the CHTs Affairs Ministry to suspend rice rations to 65,000 indigenous Jumma refugees. The refugees are provided rice rations under the agreements signed between the government of Bangladesh and the Jumma Refugees Welfare Association under the 16points rehabilitation package of 1994 and 20-points package of 9 March 1997 to facilitate the return of the refugees from India. The order of the PMO however directed to give the free supply of rice rations to 26,000 illegal8 plain settlers families in different cluster villages in the CHTs. The PMO's directive came when the CHT Affairs Ministry asked for rations for Jumma refugees for the first quarter of the current fiscal year. 9 The order of the Prime Ministers Office to suspend rice ration for the returnee Jumma refugees but to continue rations for the illegal plain settlers who displaced indigenous Jumma peoples in the first place, is a clear case of racial discrimination under Bangladesh constitution and international human rights law. The order will lead to starvation of indigenous Jumma peoples and their children, as many could not get back their lands for cultivation and were denied the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Their lands have been grabbed by the illegal plain settlers and the Bangladesh army. According to official statistics, 3,055 families out of the 12,222 are yet to get back their dwelling houses, jum10 lands, mouza lands, and crematorium. Approximately 40 indigenous Jumma villages, six Buddhist temples of Chakmas and two Hari temples of Tripuras and one Buddhist orphanage are still in the possession of illegal plain settlers and Army or Ansar forces in violation of the Article 17(b)11 of the CHTs Accord of 1997. 12 The order of the Prime Ministers Office has direct implications on the right to education, health care and survival of the indigenous Jumma children. Given impending starvation of thousands of refugees, Jumma Refugee Welfare Association has launched a 72-hour road blockade programme from 26 September 2003.13

in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, United Peoples Democratic Front, 24 July 2003
7 8

. Indigenous Jummas Denied Democracy and Development: A preliminary critique of the UNDPs programmes . Refugees in their own homeland, The Independent, Dhaka, 26 September 2003.

. The Bengali plain settlers who are transplanted into the CHTs are termed as illegal as they were brought in

clear violation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts 1900 Regulation which restricts the entry of non-hill people into the CHTs. Moreover, article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits such population transfer.
9

. The Daily Star, Dhaka, 3 August 2003, Ration stopped for indigenous CHT refugees . Jum is shifting cultivation. . Article 17 (Kha) of the CHTs Accord provides that The lands to be abandoned by military or para-military . The Independent, Dhaka, 26 September 2003 . Ibid.

10 11

camps and cantonments will be either returned to the original owners or to the hill district councils.
12 13

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After burning down the houses, the government of Bangladesh offered paltry Taka 2000 to the affected families. However, most affected families did not even receive any compensation. This shows discriminatory policies of the government of Bangladesh with regard to the indigenous Jumma peoples.

10. The impunity in the CHTs


While the Bangladesh Parliament adopted the Joint Drive Indemnity Act, 2003 on 23 February 2003 to provide indemnity to the security forces involved in Operation Clean Heart, the security forces enjoyed complete impunity for human rights violations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. To the knowledge of Hill Watch Human Rights Forum, no one has been ever convicted for human rights abuses in the CHTs. Amnesty International reported in 1986 that the army officer allegedly responsible for ordering the villagers to assemble and the army to open fire at "Kalampati" 14 was still serving in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.15 President Zia-ur-Rahman promised to establish an enquiry commission on Kalampati massacre. It never took off. The government reportedly set up an investigating committee after Longudu massacre on 4 May 1989. However, nothing was known about the report of the investigating committee and prosecution of the culprits responsible for the death of nearly 40 Jumma people. The Government for the first time conducted a judicial inquiry in the CHTs into the Logang massacre of 10 April 1992. The order was an apparent shift from the episodical stand of whitewashing the crimes of the security forces by the authorities in Dhaka. One expected it to be one step forward towards establishing accountability process by the democratic Government of Begum Khaleda Zia. However, the mode of inquiry violated the United Nations Principles on the Independence of Judiciary. Testimonies from the victims were taken in front of the army personnel at Khagrachari in CHTs. This made impossible to testify about the massacre in which more than 200 innocent Jummas were killed. No one was prosecuted! Moreover, the commission exonerated the security forces responsible for Logang massacre. The Commission held some Ansars and VDPs responsible for firing indiscriminately which led to the death of 13 Jummas. But the Commission failed to prosecute the Ansars and VDPs who fired indiscriminately killing 13 Jummas as it claimed. The Commission also failed to recommend effective measures to stop reoccurrence of such incidents.

14

. On 25 March 1980, the army and settlers massacred innocent Jumma peoples at Kalampati in retaliation

against Shanti Bahini ambush of a detachment of soldiers on 10 March 1980. Mr Upendralal Chakma, Member of Parliament (MP) in a press conference on 1 April 1980 was unable to determine the precise number of death Khan Menon and Mr Upendralal Chakma found that it has been perpetrated systematically.
15

but "certainly exceeds 200" he said. A team of opposition MPs consisting of Mr Shah Jahan Siraj, Mr Rashed . Amnesty International: Bangladesh, Unlawful Killings and Torture in the Chittagong Hill Tracts,

ASA/13/21/86.

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The Commission rather emphasized on the exogenous issues to divert attention from the real issue of identifying the perpetrators of the massacre. Instead Justice Khan said "I want to put on record the presence of Army unit in the hill tracts would be necessary as long as the insurgency of Shanti Bahini continues". The army and settlers massacred 40 Jummas at Naniachar on 17 November 1993. The Government of Bangladesh ordered a judicial inquiry headed by Justice Habibur Rahman. Although the report was submitted to the government on 26 May 1994, the report has never been made public. Similarly, the report inquiring into the disappearance of a leader of the Hill Women Federation, Ms Kalpana Chakma on 12 June 1996 has not been made public as yet. After the Babuchara Bazaar killing on 16 October 1999, the government instituted an inquiry commission. The report has not been made public.

10. Responsibility under national and international law


By failing to ensure that the perpetrators of gross human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings and rape are brought to justice, the Bangladesh government effectively condones the practice that led to its perpetuation, and the perpetrators to believe that they are beyond the reach of the law. This is contrary to the Bangladesh Constitution. Article 27 of Bangladesh constitution provides for equality before law. It states, All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, only the illegal settlers enjoy equality before law. The indigenous Jummas are treated as suspects. Article 28 of Bangladesh constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, etc. It provides: (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. (2) Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life. (3) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to any place of public entertainment or resort, or admission to any educational institution. (4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making special provision in favour of women or children or for the advancement of any backward section of citizens. However, indigenous Jumma peoples have been discriminated on the basis of their religion, race.
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Article 31 of the Bangladesh constitution provides right to protection of law. It states, To enjoy the protection of the law, and to be treated in accordance with law, and only in accordance with law, is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Bangladesh, and in particular no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law. The Mahalchari incident shows that indigenous peoples have no protection under the law. The law enforcement personnel themselves are responsible for violation of the right to life, liberty, bodily harm and destruction of properties of indigenous Jumma peoples.

11. Conclusions and recommendations


There is no doubt that the attack on the innocent Jumma villagers was a pre-planned attack executed with the full support and participation of the security forces. The attack clearly shows that indigenous Jumma people remain extremely vulnerable to slightest provocation. The systematic destruction of villages is a clear attempt to create fear psychosis amongst the Jummas with a view to occupy their lands either forcibly or force them to sale their lands. The visit by parliamentary team of the government and opposition has not resulted in any concrete measures. Unless the findings by the parliamentary committee lead to prosecution of the culprits and adequate compensation to the victims, the visits will be mere eyewash to shield the culprits. This will increase alienation of the indigenous Jumma peoples. The CHTs Regional Council Chairman, Santu Larma also visited the affected areas. Mr Larmas inability to provide any compensation to the victims also shows inadequacy of the Regional Council. It is essential the government establish the rule of law. Upholding human rights of indigenous peoples is not at odds with maintaining law and order. Deep respect for human rights by the government will reduce the sense of alienation and ultimately increase the faith of the indigenous peoples in the institutions which run through the government of Bangladesh. In this regard, Hill Watch Human Rights Forum makes the following recommendations: To the government of Bangladesh: Order a judicial inquiry into the Mahalchari incidents by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and submit the report within eight weeks;

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Pay adequate compensation to the relatives of the deceased nine-month old Kiriton Chakma and Binod Bihari Khisa; Determine a compensation package for the victims whose houses were burnt to enable them to rebuild them and provide them assistance at per with the Jumma refugees for a period of two years; Withdraw the armed forces as agreed under the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord; Allow international humanitarian organizations to provide relief to the victims as given to the internally displaced persons for a year; Bring an end to discriminatory policies and practices such as providing free rations only to the settlers which sustains the conflict; Honour the agreements signed between the government of Bangladesh and the Jumma Refugees Welfare Association under the 16-points rehabilitation package of 1994 and 20-points package of 9 March 1997 and provide rations to the internally displaced Jummas and the returnee Jummas refugees until they are fully rehabilitated; Settle the illegal settlers outside of the Chittagong Hill Tracts; Withdraw the armed forces from the Chittagong Hill Tracts as agreed under the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord and deploy civil police to deal with law and order situation; Establish a National Human Rights Commission in conformity with the Paris Principles on National Human Rights Institutions.

To the international community: Urge with the government of Bangladesh to take action on the above recommendations.

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