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Sajek attack leaves 4 dead, scores wounded

20 February 2010

 
At least four Jumma villagers have been confirmed dead and scores others wounded when the army fired indiscriminately into unarmed civilians without slightest provocation in Sajek under Rangamati district. They also burned burnt to ashes hundreds of houses, including a Buddhist temple and a church, in a number of villages.
The attack began last night when a group of army personnel and illegal Bengalee settlers burnt down 29 houses including 7 shops, a church and a UNDP-run village centre, in two Jumma villages of Gangaram Doar and Retkaba.

The villagers fled into the jungle when the attack took place. 

After the first attack, the villagers returned to their villages the next morning and gathered in Gangaram to protest it.

At about 10am the army and settlers went there again and ordered the Jummas to leave the area, but they refused to comply.

At 10:25am the army opened fire into the crowd without any sort of provocation, leaving many dead and wounded. They army also arrested three persons from there.

Another group of trigger-happy army men entered Guchchagram, a cluster village for the Chakmas, across the Kachalong river, while firing from their automatic weapons.

It is still not clear how many people have been killed in the attacks. However, three of the dead have been identified. They are Laxmi Bijoy Chakma, Liton Chakma (30) and Buddhabati Chakma.

Some of the injured are Shanta Shil Chakma, Mrittunjoy Chakma, Sushil Jibon Chakma, Bharat Joti Chakma, Biza Ma Chakma and Rekha Devi Chakma.

Three Jummas — Dayal Chakma, Chironjeeb Chakma and Nipu Chakma — are still missing.

The army also attacked Purbo Para village and burnt the houses and Banani Bana Vihar, a Buddhist temple. The abbot of the vihara, Ven. Purnabas Bhikkhu, is missing.

Baghaichari Upazila chairman Sudarshan Chakma and other local Jumma leaders have been barred from visiting the spots. Only the Baghaichari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) was allowed in.

The local administration has imposed section 144 in the area to prevent Jummas from taking out protest demonstrations.

UPDF and its front organisations have planned for demonstrations in three districts of Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati, and in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Buddhist monks will also take up programmes to protest the barbaric attack in Sajek, a Jumma Bhikkhu in Dhaka told chtnews.com.

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chtnews.com is an independent and voluntary online news service dedicated to projecting and analyzing the current events in the Chittagong Hill Tracts from the perspective of the Jumma people’s struggle for the right to self-determination. For further information please contact at: chtnewsonline@gmail.com



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