Rangamati violence planned, triggered by rumour


Rangamati violence–Daily Star

The September 22 violence in Rangamati town was a consequence of a trivial issue three days back — over seating arrangement on a bus between two students of two communities, settler Muslim and indigenous Buddhist.

Following this, a turmoil was seen on the college campus the next day between the two community students. It might also spread throughout the town since on Saturday, Sept 22, the violence spread fast in the town from a classroom of the college.

রাঙামাটির সহিংসতায় নয়জনকে শনাক্ত

The district administration’s probe committee formed following the incident has prepared its report and submitted it to the deputy commissioner.

Rampage in Rangamati

It has found that the violence that left over 100 people, mostly the minority community, was a result of some longstanding issues: persistent division between the two communities, delay in implementation of the 1997 peace accord, stalled land resolution activities and incidents of extortionist by some organisations.

The probe body also warned that a vested quarter might have been trying to create chaos.

It said the attack was first launched by 15-16 settlers, who were outsiders, in a classroom where ab unknown settler Bangaleee was sitting beforehand. The attackers called him outside just after the first class began at 10am and then collectively attacked on the indigenous students.

Soon a rumour spread in the college and elsewhere that the indigenous students attacked settlers in a nearby technical training centre. And the next happenings are all known through media.

Though the report is not satisfactory that much, the probe body identified nine people for instigating the violence.

Rangamati, a prime spot for tourists, falls under the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) — a vulnerable area. It had once been a place for the indigenous people only until the ’80s when the government launched ‘operation uttoron’ with the help of over 30000 army personnel and then the government alloted lands for Bangaleee people in the region to quell a guerrilla warfare.

However, the strategy has been proved to ne wrong as chaos is ever increasing there despite the signing of a peace treaty in 1997 between the government and PCJSS led by Santu Larma.

And, due to the unwillingness of the subsequent government, the execution of the landmark treaty is yet to see a positive change, except for the halt of the war.

When the pro-liberation Awami League, which initiated the peace accord, is in power now, people are hopeful, as I am, that the party would be cordial enough to make the region a heaven by ensuring co-existence of the different communities.

Thanks to Prothom Alo’s correspondent Hari Kishore Chakma.

2 comments

  1. PCP expresses concern and wonder for involvement of Emon Chakma with Rangamati attack and demands judicial inquiry ::
    On 18 October 2012 in a press release, Rangamati government Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) criticized investigation report of probe committee formed to investigate the Rangamati communal attack expressing its concern and wonder for involvement of Emon Chakma with this attack. PCP (Hill Students Council) also demanded impartial judicial inquiry for the sake of real fact-finding and punishment of those involved with this attack.

    At the initiative of district administration, an Investigation Deputy Additional (Revenue) Mostafizur Rahman member of Rangamati Hill District Council Brishaketu Chakma Superintendent of Police Habibur Rahman as members was constituted. Investigation report of this committee was published in various leading national dailies on 16 and 17 October 2012. It is mentionable that on September 22-23 an attack on indigenous Jumma peoples was committed by Bengali settlers in presence of security forces which left more than 100 Jummas and many Jumma houses establishments including Council office and rest house vandalized.

    PCP said in its press release signed by Shishir Chakma, information, publicity and publication secretary government college
    though several positive recommendations including the implementation of the 1997 Peace Accord were passed, authentic and actual fact of the incident was not reflected in that report. As a result, though a very few persons involved with this attack were mentioned in the report, but the most especially those mastermind are left aside. For this reason, the real culprits are still beyond identification and arrest, PCP added.

    PCP said that the issue of making Emon Chakma involved with that occurrence in the investigation report is totally baseless, fabricated and false, as because, on that day at about 10.00 am, Emon Chakma along with other innocent students was in the classroom while Bangali students and youngsters with conducting one sided attack on the Jumma students. At that time, he along with other students tried to escape out and he came under attack and sustained severe injuries. He was not attackers, rather he was victim of attack, PCP added.

    In these circumstances, PCP unit urged to the Government incident by formulating an impartial judicial investigation committee and demands the exemplary punishment culprits of the incident.

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