‘Chakma Black Day’ observed in Tripura

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Hill Voice, 19 August 2023, International Desk: As before, the Tripura Chakma Students Association and the Chakma National Council of India organized a press conference on 17 August 2023, at Shakya Sadak English Medium School in Kanchanpur in Tripura.

In the press conference, Anirudha Chakma vice president of Chakma National Council of India, Subal Kumar Chakma, General Secretary, Chakma Students Association of Central Committee, Prashanta Chakma, Assistant Organizing Secretary, Chakma Students Association of Central Committee, Kritom Chakma, president of Kanchanpur branch of Chakma Students Association were present among others.

Aniruddha Chakma spoke out in the press conference that they are observing this Black Day for all the Chakmas living in all India, Bangladesh and Myanmar and the Chakma wherever they live in. They have been observing this black day since 2016.

Cyril Redcliffe unjustly annexed the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the then East Pakistan. Since the post-partition of the country, the Chakmas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts including other indigenous peoples could never gained the confidence of the rulers as they are branded as pro-Indian. As a result, the Chakmas including other indigenous peoples are the worst victims of endless torture, murder, rape, land grabbing, religious conversion, ethnic cleansing, looting and arson in their everyday life. Now the Chakmas had to bear the brunt of a historical mistake and at the extinction of existence.

He added that the Chakmas are at the edge of existence due to annexation of their home, Chittagong Hill Tracts to East Pakistan. Today Chakmas are landless, houseless, countryless. Today, on 17 August, we are observing this Black Day as we are victimised for partition of the country. Now the Chakmas are shocked and frustrated. We would like to appeal to international community to help us for justice annexing the Chittagong Hill Tracts to India as we got a raw deal in 1947. So, we are observing this day.

Subal Kumar Chakma said that the purpose to observe the Black Day is to protest against. During the partition of the country, Pakistan with the Muslim majority and India with the non-Muslim majority should be formed. So, everyone thought that Chittagong Hill Tracts would be annexed to India as 98.5% of the people were non-Muslims there at that time. Then, Sneha Kumar Chakma and other Chakma leaders met India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and he assured the Chakma leaders that Chittagong Hill Tracts would be annexed to India. Consequently, the Indian flag was hoisted at Rangamati on 15th August under the leadership of Sneha Kumar Chakma. However, it was only the other day on 17th August, it was learnt through radio that Chittagong Hill Tracts had been annexed to East Pakistan. Afterwards, the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts were called as plotters by the Pakistan government for hoisting the Indian flag being annexed in Pakistan.