PCP’s protest and memorandum for unconditional release of its 3 student leaders and withdrawal of military rule

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Hill Voice, 5 May 2024, Rangamati: Demanding immediate and unconditional release of its three student leaders arrested by the army from Jurachari in Rangamati district and withdrawal of military rule called ‘Operation Uttaran’, a protest procession and demonstration was held in Rangamati by Pahari Chattra Parisad (PCP) Today (May 5th).  A memorandum was also submitted to the Prime Minister through the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) on behalf of it after the protest rally.
Today at around the 3 pm, the march taken out from its the district branch office and parading Banrupa Bazar, it ended at the DC office premises and a demonstration was held there.
Sumon Chakma, Organizing Secretary of Rangamati District Branch of PCP gave a welcome speech at the event while AGS Ronel Chakma moderated and president of Rangamati district branch of PCP Jiko Chakma presided over it. General Secretary of Rangamati District Committee of Parbatya Chattagram Juba Samity Sumitra Chakma, Central President of PCP Nipan Tripura, President of Rangamati district branch of Hill Women’s Federation (HWF) Mranu Marma also spoke at the Demonstration.
Speakers in the rally said, wherever injustice and oppression, the student society stood against it all the time. Today, Jumma people are in the street for gaining their existence. When we speak about the implementation of the CHT Accord, we are labelled as terrorist by army. But it is true and clear to everyone, it is the army who cultivates terrorism in the CHT.
Today, it is clear that they indulge the terrorists in Shublong and Jibtoli.
The speakers also said, right to express one’s opinion, assembly and politics is the constitutional right of every citizen. In the constitution, every citizen has the right to appreciate the positive aspects of the state as well as criticize the negative aspects. Army arrested three leaders of PCP exercising their constitutional rights which is violation the constitution. The armies who harass, oppress and torture the innocent people while covering up the real terrorists. The army play a double standard policy in CHT. This should not be the character of any democratic state.
The speakers demanded to immediately and unconditionally release the three student leaders of Jurachari -Rupam, Suren and Roni Chakma, withdrawal of de facto military rule called “Operation Uttoran” as per the CHT Accord and  implement the CHT Accord properly.
After the rally, a PCP delegation submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister demanding immediate release of its fellow workers through the Additional Deputy Commissioner in the absence of the Deputy Commissioner.
The memorandum mentions, ‘The PCP has to say with sorrow that the army personnel of Jakkha bazar army camp under Banajogichara army zone of Jurachari arrested GS Rupam Chakma, OS Suren Chakma and Information and Publicity Secretary Roni Chakma of PCP from Jurachari Sadar area of Rangamati hill district yesterday on 4 April 2024 without charge or warrant. While they were returning home after campaigning for the chairman candidate Suresh Kumar Chakma, contesting in the ongoing 5th Upazila Parishad election. Not only that, on April 26, 2024, the said students were also detained for three hours at the check post of Jakkha Bazar camp and subjected to unnecessary interrogation and harassment.
It is more worrying that after their arrest, the army conspiratorially took their photographs with banned Yaba tablets and extortion receipts, and handed them over to Jurachari police station today (May 5, 2024) with a drug case.
Notably, the government has taken necessary measures to hold the ongoing 5th Upazila Parishad elections in a free, fair and impartial manner. But during the government’s move holding free and fair election may be disrupted as a result such undemocratic attitude of the army.
The memorandum also says, ‘the historic CHT Accord was signed in 1997 with your sincerity for a political and peaceful solution to the CHT problem. With the objective of demilitarizing the CHT, the Accord has provisions for the withdrawal of all temporary camps. But it is a matter of great regret that all the temporary camps have not yet been withdrawn from the CHT as per the Accord. Moreover, in 2001, de facto military rule called ‘Operation Uttaran’ was imposed in the CHT. Using the ‘Operation Uttaran’, the army have been undemocratically interfering in all the matters from general administration, law and order, judiciary, development activities to all types of elections.
In the name of maintaining law and order situation, the army constantly carry out the operations in the CHT, arrest, extrajudicial killings by firing in the name of crossfire, communal attacks on Jumma peoples by inciting the settlers, land grabbing and eviction, violence against women, etc. So, the situation in the CHT is deteriorating day by day as a result of such undemocratic activities of the army against the CHT Accord and the interests of Jumma people. As a result of this, the objective to the political and peaceful solution is being obstructed by the army conspiracy.
The memorandum made the following 4 demands-
1. To immediate release the three students of PCP arrested in Jurachari before the first phase (8 May 2024) of elections.
2. To take legal action against the army personnel involved in illegal arrest of the students.
3. To immediately withdraw all temporary camps including ‘Operation Uttaran’ as per the provisions of the CHT Accord.
4. To take necessary initiatives for political and peaceful solution in the CHT through proper, speedy and full implementation of the CHT Accord.