Hill Voice, 12 February 2024: A human chain, protesting a recent attempt to rape of an indigenous Jumma woman at Chongrachari in Mohalchari upazila of Khagrachari by two Bengali settlers and demanding punishment for the rapists, was organized by Rangamati town committee of Hill Students Council (PCP) on 12 February 2024, at 3:30 pm in Rangamati. The leaders of PCP, Hill women’s Federation (HWF) and Parbatya Chattagram Juba Samity (PCJS) spoke while general secretary of PCP of Rangamati Town committee Suresh Chakma moderated and president of the committee Maglin Chakma presided over the event.
Information, Publicity and Publication Secretary of Rangamati Town Committee unit of PCP Supriya Chakma in his welcome speech said, “Though there are special acts on violence against women in our country, we do not see proper implementation of the acts.” If the rapist had been awarded capital punishment, the incident like Chongrachari would not have taken place again. The administration should be more strict in ensuring the protection of Jumma women.
Organizing secretary of Rangamati district committee of HWF Charulata Tanchangya in her solidarity speech said, Bangladesh has a fair law on violence against women and girls. In the case of rape and subsequent attempted murder of Jumma women in Chittagong Hill Tracts, the accused are not given proper punishment. She demanded immediate punishment of the persons attempting to commit sexual assault and rapists as per the laws of the country.
PCP district committee general secretary Tikel Chakma said, we can see that a pecular type of governance system is going on in the hills today. It remains a question how the Bengali settlers have the courage to commit incidents like rape. The administration did not give a fair trial to such incidents and on the contrary gave threatening to the Jumma people. In order to ensure protection of Jumma women, a mass movement should be forged against such incidents and misdeeds of the government should be resisted through the proper implementation of the CHT Accord.
Central Committee General Secretary of PCP Thwaikyazai Chak said, incidents like rape is a common phenomenon due to prevailing of impunity culture. The Rapists do not have right to live. Rapist must be identified as rapist. If they are not brought under the law, we would again see a shameful incident like the one happened in Chongrachari of Khagrachari. I call on all not to show any sympathy towards the rapists.
Drawing attention to all the Jumma mothers, sisters, youths and students of the three hill districts, he added, we have to be alert. Wherever incident happens in the CHT, everyone should be altogether to protest it. There should be protest against any kind of injustice.
General Secretary of Rangamati District Committee of Parbatya Chattagram Juba Samity Sumitra Chakma in his solidarity speech said that in the context of CHT, incident like rape is not an isolated incident. It is very sad to say that those cases are not given fair trial. Whenever there is any meeting or conference in favour of indigenous people, a vested quarter becomes active spreading propaganda against them.
To ensure the safety of Jumma women, he strongly demanded the speedy implementation of the special governance system to be implemented as per the provisions of the CHT Accord.
Whiling speaking as president of the event, president of Rangamati town committee Maglin Chakma in his speech said, “It is a matter of great regret that even after 53 years of independent Bangladesh, we still witness incidents like rape. The incident like rape of women in this country by Pakistanis before independence, we witness it today. Today our women are not safe. Even while fetching water from the well, they have to be subjected to heinous incidents like attempt to rape.
He demanded to the government to properly implement the CHT Accord to ensure the dignity, self-defense and safety for Jumma women in Chittagong Hill Tracts.