Hill Voice, 5 June 2020, Chittagong Hill Tracts: Despite the stagnation of public life due to the COVID-19 virus, at least 26 houses were searched in the17 incidents of human rights violations by the army and 8 people were abducted and blank shot were fired in 3 places in the 13 incidents committed by the army-backed Reformist and UPDF (Democratic) in the month of last May, says PCJSS’s Human Rights Report of May.
The report titled “May 2020: Monthly Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts” published and disseminated by the Information and Publicity Department of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) on Friday 5 June 2020 states that in combating the COVID-19 virus, likewise in the country, also in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) where the public life has landed in stagnancy and the economic life and livelihood are passing a reality of hardship due to (undeclared) lockdown; even being so, in place, anti-Accord and anti-Jumma-interest conspiracies followed by tyranny, persecution, restriction and repression do not get stopped at all. While securing the reality created out of battling COVID-19 as a cover, wide-range conspiracy against implementation process of the CHT Accord of 1997 followed by ill-efforts directed to identifying the rights activists who voice their demand for implementation of the Accord, as ‘miscreants’, is being gradually accelerated by the government and the state forces.
The government and the state forces, in one hand, have been executing various programs and blue print, which are conflicting to the CHT Accord and counter to Jumma national entity abusing the state machineries and administrative power, while attempting to flow the situation to different course by making use of their created and sponsored Reformists and so-called UPDF (Democratic) elements, on the other. Likewise, the situation that would prevail during pre-Accord era, all measures have been done well fortified with creation of ignitable war-situation and for ethnic cleansing of the Jumma people. This has resulted in regular human rights violations in the forms of killing, filing fabricated cases, persecution, unwarranted searching, military campaigns elsewhere and attacks being perpetrated by the state forces and their hired armed elements known as Reformists and so-called Democratic UPDF.
It is by merit of the ‘Operation Uttoron’ (Operation Upliftment), likewise the pre-Accord days, the military authority, intelligence agency, law & order forces including other para-military forces, all the time, have been conducting military operations and carrying out persecution, suppressive measures, harassment, religious defilements, searching, seizing houses, holding up, arrest, including extra-judicial killing and forced disappearance, etc. while trampling down the democratic rights, human rights and other rights as recognized in light of the Accord. Indeed, the armed forces deployed in the CHT have been perpetrating irrespective atrocities upon the PCJSS workers and supporters vocal for implementation of the CHT Accord by having them identified and branded as ‘terrorists’ and ‘extortionists’ obviously to nullify the implementation process of the Accord and to frustrate the movement for establishment of the right to self-determination and ultimately, with a mean objective to exterminate the Jumma people racially.
As part of the ‘modus operandi’ in May 2020, the record of army atrocities reveals: 1 person injured, 1 tortured inhumanly under custody, searched at least 60 houses for nothing, rampaged 4 makeshifts at Jum cultivation plots, prevention in building a temple, initiative for establishing a new army camp including series of operations, patrolling, enumerable harassments and threatening. Besides, in Bandarban hill district, 60 families belonging to Mro, Tripura and Marma indigenous groups are in fear of lifting damage, as a result of Alikadam-Kurukpatajhiri-Poamuhri Road being constructed by the army.
It is now all clear under the sky that with a view to destroying the battling for protection of Jumma National entity and the existence of their birth land including for sustenance of military rule and Islamization in the CHT, the government and state forces have established a reign of terror by way of providing covert and overt support and sponsorship to the Reformist armed group and UPDF (Democratic) armed terrorists. Having these armed elements turned into their hired stooges, the state authority has been carrying out its ill-design by setting them in free-hand involvement in perpetrating missions for killing, kidnapping, holding hostages in exchange of ransom, extortion and threatening alongside ill-attempt of keeping the right activists and people lively engaged in the movement for Accord implementation, as hostages.
Meanwhile, the state forces with providing active support and escorting these terrorist elements to Subalong and various places under Rangamati hill district and in Bandarban hill district, have accelerated the conspiracy of inciting them against the Jumma people. The chronological events of the hired stooges in last May 2020 reveal: altogether 8 persons including 7 persons by Reformists and Democratic UPDF and 1 person by ALP were kidnapped from whom realization of a sound amount of money as ransom; 2 persons beaten up mercilessly, 3 women were threatened, blank shots were fired at 3 places and allegation of collecting fixed amount as extortion from innumerable families and persons of various professions regularly.
In recent communal attack committed by the Muslim settlers in Longadu, 6 Jumma people were wounded while 1 Jumma person was severely beaten up in Amtuli Union under Baghaichhari Upazila. Making use of the COVID-19 situation, illegally procuring and supplying thousands of cubic feet natural stones from Nayapara Union area of Toin Mouza under Alikadam of Bandarban hill district by Jaynal Abedin, former President of Swechchasebak League; illegal extraction of sands by 2 leaders of the ruling Awami League party from the Sangu River bed beneath the Sangu Bridge, in Bandarban district town; and the incidents of poaching timbers of more than 70 years old mother trees from Bomu Kulaikkhyajhiri of Matamuhari Reserve Forest under jurisdiction of Lama Forest Range.