3 Jummas including Nikolai Pangkhoya arrested by the army from Rangamati jail gate

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Hill Voice, 17 February 2021, Rangamati: It has been alleged that the army has arbitrarily taken away 3 Jummas, including Nikolai Pangkhoya, who were released on bail, from the jail gate of Rangamati district headquarters. However, another Jumma named Rupayan Chakma, who was released on bail, has reportedly returned home safely.

It is learnt that Nikolai Pangkhoya (55) and Rupayan Chakma and two other Jumma youths were released from Rangamati District Jail on February 16, 2021 at around 6:00 pm. But as soon as they got out of the jail, some members of the army who were already there picked up Nikolai Pangkhoya and two others at gunpoint. Note that they recently received a bail order from the court.

It is unknown at this time where the three persons were taken.

A Rangamati-based rights activist, who did not want to be named, said it was completely illegal and against human rights to arrest a person without a warrant who were released on bail. He further said that this is the reality of Chittagong Hill Tracts. There is no rule of law here, there exists only military rule.

It may be mentioned that the army of Rangamati army zone arrested Nikolai Pangkhoya from his house at Bijan Sarani in Rangamati town on September 18, 2020 at around 7:30 pm. At that time, the army first detained Nikolai taking to the army zone and later handed him over to the police in a false case.

Nikolai Pangkhoya is a member of the Rangamati District Committee of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti and a former elected member of the Balukhali Union Parishad of Rangamati Sadar Upazila.

It is to be noted that due to the recent intensification of militarization in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the incidents of human rights violations including extra-judicial killings, abduction, detention in army camps, imprisonment in false cases, re-arrest of the persons released on bail by the High Court etc. have increased.

In 2019 alone, at least 90 people have been arrested illegally, with at least 10 being re-arrested in another sorted case from the jail gate while being released on bail by the high court.

The recent arrests of some of those released on bail and the subsequent sending to jail on false charges are as follows:

Prashanta Chakma alias Russel and Ujjwal Chakma alias Shyamal along with 4 Jumma people were arrested from Rangamati District Jail on April 30, 2019 at around 7:00 pm after receiving a bail order from the court. But members of the white-cloth security forces again apprehended said four persons from the jail gate and later handed them over to the Kotwali police. The four detainees were later shown arrested in various cases including murder.

On March 13, 2021, Chairman of Subalong Union Parishad, Tarun Jyoti Chakma (Parayan), was arrested again by the police and intelligence forces from the jail gate soon after he released from the Rangamati Jail on bail by the High Court. After his arrest, he was shown arrested in the murder case of Koko Chakma in Subalong. It may be mentioned that on November 6, 2019, he was arrested from Rangamati town by the army on false charges of grenade attack in Subalong.

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