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Innocent villager beaten by army in Mahalchari

Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
NEWS No. 54/2007, December 03, 2007

On 23 November 2007, Ram Kamal Chakma, 28, s/o Summey Chakma of
village Hullyang para under Mubhachari Union in Khagrachari distrct
was beaten up by army personnel from Mahalchari zone.

Mr. Chakma was returning from Mahalchari bazaar at around 8 p.m. after
participating in Ras Puja festival of the Hindus, when Major Gaffar,
second-in-command of Mahalchari army zone (24 Bengal), detained him.

He was taken to the torture cell of the camp with his hands tied down
and tortured inhumanly. He was kicked and punched so badly that ten
days after the incident he is still unable to stand up and walk.

The army personnel asked him whether he had possessed any firearms.
Initially he told them that he did not have any. But when the beating
became severe and intolerable, he confessed to having a gun in his
home.

Then, after midnight he was taken there, and the army searched the
house. However, no firearms were recovered.

At 3 a.m. he was set free after the local Union Council member and
other village elders spoke of his innocence.

Recently, the army has stepped up raids and searches in Maischari. In
the last one week, army personnel from Kiang-ghat camp raided East
Manikchari village trice, however no one was arrested. They told the
head of the village that they would set up a camp in that area. Army
patrol in other areas has also been increased.

Local villagers believe that these army actions are mainly to create
an atmosphere of fear among the Jumma people to help the settlers
forcibly take away lands belonging to the Jumma people.

According to an estimate, from July – November 2007 at least 200 acres
have been grabbed by settlers in Maischari.
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Hill Watch Human Rights Forum provides accurate, objective and
reliable information on human rights abuses in the Chittagong Hill
Tracts. For further details contact: hwhrf_99@yahoo.com or
hwhrf.cht@gmail.com



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