Following the Soldiers Mutiny in 1857, the British Government took
over the direct administration of their Indian colonies from the East
India Company. In 1860, by Act XXII, the Chakma kingdom of Chadigang
(or Chittagong) was divided into two districts named Chittagong and Chittagong
Hill Tracts. Chittagong was included into Bengal Province of India which
soon became completely populated with the Bangladeshi (people of modern day Bangladesh)
people and the
Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) was directly administered by British Government as.
With the British annexation of the CHT, the activities of the Bangladeshi
money lenders/merchants increased considerably. At the begining the British
encouraged the Bangladeshi migration to the CHT to pacify the Jummas. Before, fear
of the Jumma people had kept many Bangladeshis away from the CHT, but with British
protection they sought to establish their dominance over the CHT economy.
Indebtness among the Jumma people rose so rapidly that
British officials soon became worried about possible political tensions as a
result of this situation.
In order to protect the Jumma people from the exploitation the Chittagong
Hill Tracts Regulation of 1900 was promulgated which came into effect on 1
May 1900 (Act 1 of 1900). The 1900 Act often known as the CHT Manual.
The CHT Manual laid down detailed rules and regulations for the
administration of the CHT.
The CHT Manual to a certain extent protected the Jumma people from the
The special status of the Chittagong Hill Tracts was
further underlined with the Government of India Act of 1935,
in which this district was designated a "Totally Excluded
Area". This meant a formal severinq of political links be-
tween the CHT and the Province of Bengal. Here the chiefs
and the Jumma people of the CHT found their interests to run
'parallel' to those of the British. All three groups wished to
create distance between the CHT and the Bangladeshi plain. The
chiefs hoped to gradually establish themselves as local
princes and to transform the Chittagong Hill Tracts into a
semi-independent Native State, the Jumma people hoped to restrict
Bengali interference and settlement once and for all; and the British
hoped to impede the spread of nationalist propaganda from Bengal to the
- Section 18: the rules and regulations applicable in other
parts of Bengal were not applicable in the context of the CHT.
- Article 7 of Chapater 3: the CHT placed under the administration of a
Deputy Commissioner (DC). The DC was empowered with special powers by the
British Governor of Bengal.
- Rule 34: possession of land by outsiders in the CHT was restricted,
but did not impose total ban upon it. Land could be acquired for the following
- Rule 34(b) for plantation on commercial basis;
- Rule 34(c) industrial purpose;
- Rule 34(d) residential purpose;
- Rule 34(e) commercial purpose.
- Rule 52: non indigenous people could not enter or reside in the CHT without
obtaining permission from the DC.
- Rule 51: the DC can expel anyone from the CHT deemed undesirable.
- Rule 7(1): the Manual also introduced measures to protect the Jumma
people from the money lenders. A ceiling was inposed on the interest
rates which was 10 per cent per annum on unsecured and eight per cent
per annum on secured loan.
- The Charge of Genocide: Organizing Committee CHT Campaign, The Netherlands, 1986
- The Politics of Nationalism: by Amena Mohsin