Hill Voice, 01 April 2020, Chittagong Hill Tracts: In March 2020, five persons were held, four persons were beaten and a dozen of houses were searched by the BGB and army; 4 villagers were abducted and extorted huge amount of ransom by reformist group, says Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS).
In the monthly report for the month of March 2020 published and circulated by Information and Publicity Department of PCJSS on 01 April 2020, it is said that amid life-betting situation against the coronavirus (COVID-19) and panic across the globe including Bangladesh, paradoxically, the mean drive for nullifying the CHT Accord Implementation Process, weakening the movement for the right of self-determination of the Jumma people and above all to ensure execution of the anti-Accord and anti-Jumma-interest blueprint of the ruling class of Bangladesh is underway without any recess in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
As a part of the whole, the fascist design that has been perpetrated also in March 2020 includes: communal attacks, illegal occupation of lands of the Jumma people, religious persecution, arbitrary arrest and torture, searching houses, providing support and shelter to armed terrorists by the army, violence against indigenous Jumma women, etc.
PCJSS also added that in CHT, the inhuman perpetration that took place in March 2020 comprises of: 1 Jumma youth injured in a communal attack of the settlers in Matiranga of Khagrachari district; 1 Buddhist temple reduced to ashes by the settlers in Manikchari; 5 innocent Jummas held, 4 beaten, a dozen of houses searched in 7 villages with blank firings for terrifying by the BGB and army personnel; declaration to set up a new camps in Longadu at the sites withdrawn earlier; 4 including 1 student abducted and extorted huge amount of ransom while houses searched, household articles rampaged and several persons beaten by the army-backed Reformist terrorists; 2 indigenous Marma adolescent girls fallen prey to sexual assault by the settlers; forcible occupation of Jum lands of the indigenous Jumma people measuring over 1000 acres by one Awami League leader in Naikhyongchari of Bandarban district and so on.
In March 2020, the local people expressed their resentment over Home Minister’s visit of construction work of Rangamati Hill District Border Transit Road and Land Port as the move by-passing the CHT Regional Council and Hill District Councils was considered to have been a direct violation of the Accord.
PCJSS monthly also cited that epidemic measles has claimed 9 children dead and at least 350 infected in Sajek Union of Baghaichari Upazila under Rangamati Hill District, in Lama Union of Lama Upazila and Ruma Sadar, Galengya and Taindu Unions of Ruma Upazila and Bandarban Sadar Union under Bandarban Hill District and Merung Union of Dighinala Upazila under Khagrachari Hill District. It is through the death of 9 children and over 350 infected with epidemic measles, a tragic picture has vividly opened out affirming that the indigenous Jumma people living in inaccessible areas are deprived of civic facilities and health services.
PCJSS is of opinion that allegation also arises out that even though the Health Department being a subject already been devolved to the Hill District Councils, yet the Deputy Commissioners of the three hill districts have been conducting coronavirus prevention programs without proper coordination with Hill District Councils. It has been also learnt that the CHT Regional Council, which is the apex body of the Special Administrative System in CHT introduced as per CHT Accord, has not been involved in the government move against the pandemic coronavirus.
Source: PCJSS Monthly Report (March 2020) on Human Rights Violation Situation in CHT