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Student Strike in Khagrachari:

2 PCP activists arrested

September 18: Student strike in schools and colleges called by the Pahari Chattra Parishad for Khagrachari district ended successfully as police arrested two PCP pickets from Mahalchari. Bindu Chakma and Swapan Chakma, students of Mahalchari High School, were arrested at around 11 a.m. while they were picketing in Mahalchari bazaar. However, they were released a few hours later. Strikes were applicable for high schools and colleges only. Primary schools have been kept outside the purview of the strike.
Response to the strike call has been positive. Students have boycotted their classes spontaneously and some of them picketed enthusiastically. Classes have not been held in most of the schools and colleges as the general students did not turn up. The Khagrachari District Government High School, one of the best schools in the district, remained open, although attendance in classes was thin. The PCP called the strike in protest against undemocratic behaviour of the police who had intercepted a student procession halfway yesterday and in support of their demand for a right to primary education in ethnic nationalities’ own languages. PCP also called road blockade simultaneously to effectively enforce the strike. Vehicles remained off the road until 2 p.m.
PCP General Secretary Dipankar Tripura condemned the arrest of his two activists and called upon the government to meet their just demands. He accused the government of resorting to repression to muzzle their voice. Justifying their demand Mr. Tripura said mother language is dear to all and Jumma people are no exception. In order to spread education in CHT, there is no alternative than to impart education up to primary level in Jumma peoples’ own mother languages. He said Bangla is almost alien to most of the people in CHT and that is why it becomes difficult for many Jumma students to cope with school lessons. It is also one of the reasons for drop outs of Jumma students. He said every government in Dhaka has not only remained insensitive to the language and culture of the ethnic nationalities, but also tried to suppress them. He called upon the government to change this attitude. Source: UPDF

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