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Road blockade by UPDF in Khagrachhari 4 inured in clashes Our Correspondent, Khagrachhari

The Daily Star, October 29, 2006

A half-day road blockade enforced by the anti-peace treaty United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) was observed here yesterday with sporadic clashes which left five people injured.

The UPDF enforced the programme to press its seven-point demand including preparation of a voter list only with permanent residents in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

The UPDF activists beat up transport workers, damaged four buses and broke glasses of many vehicles during the programme, police and locals said. Police were deployed in all vital points of the town.

The injured are Sabur, 30, Gafur, 32, Kutub, 30, Abdul, 21, and Hasan, 23.

After the road blockade, a rally was held at the UPDF office at Sanirbar Bazar. The UPDF district convener Ujjal Smriti Chakma presided the rally.

Speakers threatened to paralyse life in CHT by stopping all activities of the government. They criticised both the ruling BNP and opposition Awami League for their step mother attitude towards indigenous people. They urged the indigenous people to empower themselves through exercising franchise. They were also critical of BNP lawmaker Wadud Bhuiyan for his anti-people activities. They thanked people to make the road blockade programme a success.

The UPDF demands included enrolment of only permanent citizens of CHT in the new voter list, introduction of postal ballot system for Bengali settlers including members of army and para-military forces, stoppage of army harassment in name of Operation Uttaran during three months of election, stoppage of army repression on indigenous people, specially on UPDF activists, stoppage of grabbing of land of indigenous people, inclusion of indigenous voters who were dropped from the voter list, deployment of police in polling centres during election and establishment of a separate Election Commission for CHT people.

Among others, Hill Women’s Federation president Sonali Chakma, Democratic Youth Forum president Dipankar Chakma and secretary Mithun Chakma including its member Animesh Chakma addressed.

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