Setting up a new army camp at Chitmorong, 4 villagers held and harassed

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Hill Voice, 10 August 2020, Rangamati:  A new camp called ‘Chitmorong Temporary Camp’ was set up at Chitmorong Union in Rangamati district, occupying 5.0 acres of land for three persons and at least four innocent villagers have so far been apprehended by the army after establishing this camp.

According to local sources, a temporary army camp was set up two months ago on a hill near the pagoda of Chitmorong Buddhist Monastery under Chitmorong Union in violation of the 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord.

It has been alleged that the temporary army camp has been set up by occupying 5.0 acres of land settled by three villagers named Mongshweprue Marma, Kyakyamong Chowdhury and Nirmal Das.

Including this camp, 4 new camps have been set up in Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts in 2020. It is to be noted that although there is a provision in the CHT Accord to withdraw all the temporary camps, there are still more than four hundred temporary camps in the CHT. In addition, at the same time new camps are being set up.

At present, there are about 50 soldiers in the newly established Chitmorong army camp. Since the establishment of this army camp, the army of the camp have been harassing, detaining and beating the Jumma people in various ways who came to Chitmorong Bazar. As a result, the people of the area have become panic stricken.

On 8 August 2020 Saturday, the finance secretary of Chitmarang Union Committee of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Mongnueching Marma (56) and a resident of Chakkua Para, Athowaimong Marma (32) were apprehended while they went to sell bananas in Chitmorong Bazar. It is learnt that despite release of Athowaimong Marma later, but Mongnueching Marma has still been kept in the custody of the army.

Earlier, on 28 July 2020 Tuesday, the army of the Chitmorong camp arrested two innocent persons named Hlabre Marma (35), a resident of Chakkua Punorbasan Para in Chitmorong and Monnshweu Marma (53), a resident of Battali Para of Chitmorong union. It is learnt that they were released after various harassments and interrogations.

‍According to the PCJSS, with an objective to create obstruction to the Accord-implementation process, to divert the CHT situation towards different course, to materialize ill designs that stand counter-productive to the CHT Accord and interest of the Jumma people, and above all, to criminalize the Jumma people waging the movement for implementation of the Accord, the army, BGB, intelligence forces and police are continuing activities against humanity in the CHT, including military operations, arrests, searches, harassment, etc. in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.