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Interim councils take over in three hill dists

Shantimoy Chakma, Rangamati

Chairmen and members of three interim hill district councils in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), selected by the caretaker government, took over yesterday in Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari districts.In Rangamati, Jagat Jyoti Chakma took over as chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council (RHDC) from Manik Lal Dewan. Four members of RHDC also took charge.

They are Union Parishad Chairman Bihari Ranjan Chakma, Rangamati Charukola Academy principal Rotikanta Tangchangya, Augsusain Chowdhury and Moniruzzaman Mohsin. Officials and local journalists were present at the simple function.

Aungsusain Chowdhury and Moniruzzaman Mohsin are Awami League leaders. The two other members have no political affiliation, the sources said.

Thanjama Lusai took over as new chairman of Bandarban Hill District Council, replacing Mayma Ching. The four members of the council are TS Bom, advocate Aminur Rashid, Chingsa Pru and Usainu Marma.

In Khagrachhari, incumbent chairman Moinindra Lal Tripura retained his post. The four new members of the district council are Animesh Dewan, Ruibi Karbari, Abubakkar Siddique and Sanumaomg Marma.

The system of appointing interim council was first started during Awami League rule , which was continued by the immediate past four-party alliance government which came to power in 2001.

After creation of HDCs, elections were held to the councils for first time on June 25, 1989. Since then no election was held.

In an immediate reaction, Rangamati civil society leader Sukumar Dewan told The Daily Star, “I hope neutrality will be maintained by the new council as its chairman has no political background”.

Civil society leader Sadhuran Tripura in Bandarban said the newly appointed chairman and members of Bandarban Hill District Council are neutral persons. He thanked the caretaker government for this and hoped they would be able to solve many problems which could not be addressed earlier by political governments.

The HDC Act provides that a full-fledged district council will be elected in each of the three hill districts to ensure participation of all indigenous and Bangalee communities in development activities.

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