PCP’s protest against land grabbing and army torture in Jurachari at RGC campus

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Hill Voice, 17 January 2024, Rangamati: A demonstration procession and rally was organized by Chittagong Hill Students’ Council (PCP) and Hill Women’s Federation (HWF) of Rangamati govt college unit protesting an attempt of grabbing of a Jumma’s land by Bengali settlers and beating the protestors by the army in Jurachari, including functioning of Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Settlement Commission(CHTLDSC), today on 17 January, 2024.

Slogans were chanted- one two three four, leave the hill army; when the settlers occupy land, what does the administration do? When the army beat and kill people, what does the administration do? Where there is land grabbing, there is fight; Struggle or compromise? struggle struggle- parading the campus prior to a short rally held under the banyan tree in the campus.

General students of the collage, PCP and HWF leaders spoke at the event while PCP General Secretary of Rangamati Government College Branch Sajal Chakma moderated and Sunity Bikash Chakma presided over it

In the welcome speech, president of HWF of RG College Branch Sonarita Chakma said, at the onset of the new year the Jumma people have been encountered with various torture, suppression, oppression. Some Jummas, even being associated with AL and BNP politics, cannot escape these. Such a situation is all that will prevail until the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord is implemented.

Marin Bikash Tripura on behalf of the general students, said, with the help of the army, the Bengali settlers have been constantly attempting to occupy the lands of Jumma people. It is a country of non-discriminatory, non-communal one where the Jumma people constantly subject to discrimination and communal assaults in the CHT. The ruling class has been executing a blueprint to wipe out the Jumma peoples from the CHT in the name of development. He urged the students to come forward to save existence of the hill people.

Vice-President of RG College unit Russel Chakma said, the Jummas have been constantly being subjected to humiliation by the army. The government is indifferent in implementing the CHT Accord. Until the Accord is implemented, our Jummas will have to suffer this exploitation, torture and humiliation.

Charulata Tanchangya, Organizing Secretary of Rangamati Distract Unit of HWF said in her solidarity speech, we should realize that our Jummas have been being oppressed, suppressed, exploited and tortured in various ways. Addressing the ruling class she said, the Jumma people will not sit idly until the Accord is fully implemented. He called upon the students and youths to join the movement for the rights of Jumma peoples.

PCP Rangamati district unit president Jiko Chakma said, according to the Accord, all the temporary army camps is obligatory to withdraw, but the ruling class is not doing so. Which is considered as a violation of the Accord. The CHT is under a de facto military rule, and if it prolongs, the sprite of 70s ignite fire to the hearts of the Jumma peoples in the CHT.

He added all the activities the government has been carrying out is a blueprint to eliminate the entity of our Jumma peoples. There are more than 500 hundred army camps here. According to the Accord, the army camps were to be withdrawn, but only 101 army camps were withdrawn in the 26 years of signing the Accord. However, the government move of replacing APBN camps on that ones is a direct violation of the Accord.

Grabbing Lands of Jummas in the name of development and by settlers is a common phenomenon in CHT. He called upon the students to be united and strongly demanded the government to implement the Accord by functioning the Land Dispute Settlement Commission.

Suniti Bikash Chakma in his speech as chairperson of the event said, the reality of CHT is not only the incident of 13th January in Jurachari, but such incidents are constantly happening in CHT. We dreamt of leading our lives freely in the independent, sovereign state achieved through the liberation war in 1971. Addressing the ruling groups, he said, the Jumma people might be fewer in number, but they will raise the storm of resistance with the heightened awareness as did in 70s.