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Dozens of tribals injured in the settlers’ attack in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh

New Delhi : Over two dozen Chakma and Marma tribals have been injured when their villages at Joy Sen Para , Nuapara and Massyachara under Khagrachari district of Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh were attacked this morning at 8 am onward by the illegal plain settlers and the security forces. Out of the injured, 16 have been injured seriously and admitted at Khagrachari district hospital while Tukko Chakma who has been in danger has been shifted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

Four Marma girls including Thoai Prajai Marma , 16 years and Abeng Kroi Marmam 20 years have also been raped. One Buddhist monk Reverend Sumonalankar Bhikkhu of Bouddha Shishu Mono Ghar at Kutting Tila has been missing.

The Bangladesh security forces have surrounded the villages and stopped the entry of visitors to the affected areas.

The tribal villagers were attacked after they protested against planting of jackfruit samplings by the illegal settlers inside the premises of the Buddhist temple in an attempt to take over the lands of the indigenous Jumma peoples yesterday i.e. 2 April 2006. The illegal plain settlers went back yesterday and returned today to systematically attack the tribal villages with the assistance of the security forces.

Asian Centre for Human Rights condemned the attack on the innocent villagers and termed the incident as another incident of gross human rights violations with impunity.

“This continuing violations of the rights of indigenous Jumma people is an issue which requires immediate interventions of the United Nations, European Union and other key actors of the international community” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.

Background: The Chittagong Hill Tracts is the homeland of indigenous tribal communities. In 1980s, the government sponsored the transfer of over half a million settlers to make the indigenous peoples minority in their own land. About 70,000 tribal refugees sought shelter in India from 1986 to1989. Majority of the refugees were sent back following the signing of the CHTs Accord between the Bangladesh government and the Jana Samhati Samiti on 2 December 1997 . The indigenous communities continue to face systematic attack as the Accord has been left in tatters.

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