Friday, March 5, 2010

Fresh attacks against tribals in CHT

According to the latest reports received from ground zero, the illegal Bengali settlers, freshly emboldened by the refusal of the Bangladesh government to act against the perpetrators of the communal attacks of 19-23 March 2010, launched fresh attacks on the indigenous Jummas burning down half a dozen more houses and one UNICEF-run community school at Daney Baibachara village in Sajek, Rangamati district, CHT on the night of 4 March 2010.

The fresh arson attacks began at 8:55pm on 4 March 2010. The houses that were burnt down were located just a few hundred yards away from a police station but the police personnel stayed mute spectators.

The persons whose houses have been burnt have been identified as

1. Dayal Kishta Chakma

2. Kina Chan Chakma,

3. Baggya Chakma,

4. Bidya Sadhan Tripua,

5. Ramana Sen Chakma, and

6. Nirmal Kanti Chakma

The Bengali settlers also set fire to a UNICEF-run community school in the village, known as Alo Ranir Para Kendra.

The indigenous Jummas are living in constant fear of attacks.

Yet, the Bangladesh government has failed to bring the culprits to justice. It has also refused to investigate the alleged roles of army officials in the attacks. All it has done is to transfer two army officials from the riots affected areas.

Earlier on 26 February 2010, the European Union strongly condemned the “shameful acts of violence” against the indigenous peoples in CHT and demanded an independent investigation. However, the other countries, notably giant neighbor India and the US have been mute spectators to the violence against religious minorities in Bangladesh. The UN too has merely stated that it was “closely monitoring” the situation.

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