Threatening speech against Jumma peoples delivered at law and order meeting in Rangamati

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Hill Voice, 26 May 2022, Special Correspondent: It has been alleged that Ministers, MPs, military and civil bureaucrats made threatening statements against Jumma peoples and expressed conflicting views about the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord. At the meeting, the Jumma people engaged in the movement for implementation of CHT Accord including the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), one of signatories of the Accord, were accused of engaging in terrorist activities and threatened to take stern action against them. At the same time, it has been announced that APBN camps will be set up in place of the withdrawn army camp which was completely contradictory to the CHT Accord.

This view was stated at a high-level law and order meeting held at the conference room of the district administration at Rangamati on May 25, 2022 at 7:30 pm. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal was present at the meeting. The meeting was attended by CHT Minister Bir Bahadur, Khagrachari MP Kujendra Lal Tripura, Rangamati MP Dipankar Talukder, Women MP Basanti Chakma, Chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council Aung Shwe Prue Chowdhury, Chairman Khagrachhari Hill District Council Mang Shwe Prue Chowdhury Apu, high level officers of Police, RAB, BGB, NSI Chief, high level officers of army, police, BGB, RAB forces of the three hill districts were present.

Moderated by the Cabinet Secretary, the meeting was also attended by Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma (Santu Larma), Chairman of the CHT Regional Council. However, he did not make any speech. Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Convener of the CHT Accord Implementation Monitoring Committee, was supposed to attend the meeting, but did not attend.

The meeting began with the preliminary briefing Home Minister about the law and order meeting. After that IGP, DIG, GOC, some military officials spoke on their own initiative. Military officials, including the GOC of the 24th Infantry Division, have made one-sided and arrogant statements against the regional parties on extortion, terrorism and kidnapping. Instead of a political solution to the CHT problem through the implementation of the CHT Agreement, the military officials in their speeches have threatened to solve the problem through repression and suppression.

Many concerned have expressed the view that although the CHT Accord was signed in 1997 with the aim of resolving the CHT issue through political and peaceful means, but the GOC, Major General Md. Saiful Abedin, in his statement gave a different interpretation to the purpose of signing the Accord.

After that, four MPs from the hill tracts, including women MPs, spoke in the meeting. None of them raised the issue of implementation of the unrealized issues of the CHT Accord. On the other hand, ignoring the special context of the CHT problem, the MPs, like the military officials, have unilaterally raised the issue of extortion, terrorism and violence.

Rangamati MP Dipankar Talukder raised the issue of recovery of illegal weapons as usual.

Kujendra Lal Tripura, MP from Khagrachari and Chairman of the Task Force on Rehabilitation of India-Returnee Tribal Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons and a member of the CHT Accord Implementation Committee, did not mention any word about the implementation of the Accord.

The speech of Bir Bahadur was like telling a lot of stories. Bir Bahadur also said that terrorists or extortionists levied or collect donation before the bananas of the banana tree come out.

Exclusive meeting of Home Minister and Chairman of Regional Council:

Before the law and order meeting, the Home Minister had an exclusive meeting with the Chairman of CHT Regional Council, Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larmar (Santu Larmar), at Rangamati Circuit House at 6:00 pm. The meeting lasted more than an hour. During the meeting, the issues of implementation of the CHT Accord was discussed. The two sides agreed that the meeting for the implementation of the CHT Accord needs to be organized soon. The issue of formulating the Rules of the CHT Land Commission was also discussed without any further delay.

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