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Over 100 tribals arrested in Bangladesh:- Visiting Home Minister urged to stop impending violence –

24 February 2010

PRESS RELEASE: by Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR)

(ACHR has Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC)

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) accused the Bangladesh government of only arresting people from the tribal communities from in and around Khagrachari district. About 100 indigenous tribal peoples including 40 from Khabhampujjya area under Khagrachari district were
arrested early this morning on the eve of the visit of Home Minister Sahara Khatun in the area.

Yesterday, on 23 February 2010, around 75 persons, mainly tribal people, were injured and 70 houses, mainly belonging to tribals, were reduced to ashes after the illegal plain settlers attacked a peaceful demonstration by the United Peoples Democratic Front. One plain settler Anwar Hossain was also killed.

“The arrest of only tribals under Khagrachari district is not an isolated
event. After the massacre of the Jummas on 19-20 February 2010 under
Rangamati district, the only people arrested were the Jummas who had
sustained bullet injuries in the firing of the Bangladesh Army and when
they went to obtain medical treatment at Baghaichari hospital.” Stated Mr
Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
 
The Asian Centre for Human Rights stated that there are serious biases
amongst the law enforcement personnel and the government of Bangladesh has
failed to uphold the rule of law and the principles of non-discrimination
in combating the violence unleashed by the settlers with the active
support and participation of the security forces.
 
The Asian Centre for Human Rights fears that more violence on the
indigenous peoples will occur today as procession with the dead body of
Anwar Hossain has been announced by the settlers.
 
The non-implementation of the CHTs Accord of 1997 and continuing
appropriation of the lands of tribal peoples are the root causes of the
ongoing violence.
 
The Asian Centre for Human Rights once again called for a judicial inquiry
to be completed within 90 days into the killings and destruction of
properties at Sajek and other districts; conducting an assessment of the
properties lost and provide proper resettlement and rehabilitation to the
victims; termination of “Operation Uttaran” that authorises the military
presence; withdrawal of all the military personnel to the cantonments as
provided in the CHTs Accord; stop all progranmmes relating to the
implantation of illegal plain settlers on the lands of indigenous Jumma
peoples in the CHTs; and fully implement the CHTs Accord of 1997 within
specific time frame. [Ends]
_____________________________________________________________________
[Should you require any further information, please contact Mr Suhas
Chakma at 09810893440]



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