AN ANALYSIS OF THE BANGLADESH GOVERNMENT REPORT ON THE LOGANG MASSACRE OF 10 APRIL, 1992
by Ramendu Shekhar Dewan, Spokeperson for Jana Samhati Samiti
1. SUMMARYAs part of its systematic ethnic-cleansing campaign in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), the Bangladesh Government (Government) massacred the Jumma people (the people of the CHT) in many areas and then denied having committed those massacres after meticulously concealing all the evidence. The Logang massacre is no exception.
Fortunately, the Government could not keep the matter secret this time as a western human rights activist besides twenty two prominent Bengalis were visiting the area to participate in a Jumma festival at the time of the incident. The international community was shocked by this horrible mass-killing and compelled the Government to set up an inquiry into the incident.
Despite concerted international interventions, the Government is still indulging in the massive cover-up of the massacre. It appointed its hench-man, Justice (retd) Sultan Hossain Khan (Justice Khan) to investigate the incident Just to spread a smoke-screen for the international community.
Justice Khan submitted his report in Bengali on 20 Aug., 1992, to the Bangladesh Home Minister. The Government in turn issued a 20-page English version of the report having no signature of Justice Khan on Oct. 8, 1992. Later it also issued a 25-page report in English with the signature of Justice Khan on. The original report in Bengali has not yet been released despite repeated requests by both the Bengalis and the Jummas. This brief analysis has been made on the 25-page English version of the report.
The report is surprisingly brief and vague. However, it appears to be an elaboration of a statement issued by the CHT military authorities on the Logang massacre on 11 April, 1992. It also resembles the military analysis of the CHT crisis as published in a paper by the military authorities in response to an independent inquiry report published by the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission in 1991. It is, perhaps, fair to say that Justice Khan had stage- managed the whole enquiry episode in collusion with the military authorities. Together they suppressed all vital information, distorted facts, fabricated evidence and manipulated the entire investigation process in order to prop up the untenable military version of the Logang massacre. Even Justice Khan himself did not enquire enough to find out the cause of the massacre, the extent of the massacre and those responsible for the massacre. He by- passed the right witnesses, interviewed only those witnesses who were selected and thoroughly briefed by the military authorities, did not pay heed to the right advice and did not follow up the right leads.
Justice Khan, for example, could easily find out the exact number of casualties of the massacre by checking the ration card list, voters list and the list of the Jumma refugees who had to flee to the Tripura State of India. He did not follow up these sure leads even after being advised by a western human rights activist. Justice Khan could also ascertain the number of deaths by consulting important eye- witnesses such as Mr. Samiran Dewan, the Chairman of the Khagrachari District, the inhabitants of the Logang cluster village and the Jumma refugees in Tripura in privacy without the presence of any Bangladeshis. The Jumma witnesses did not dare speak out the truth in the presence of the Bangladeshis for fear of military reprisals. He did not follow this necessary procedure to collect the true evidence and facts.
The report claimed that the killing of one Kabir Hossain by the Shanti Bahini (SB) had caused the Logang massacre. According to it, the SB had injured five Bangladeshis with a 'dao', broad curved knife. One of the victims, Kabir Hossain died later due to a throat injury and the other four injured victims were sent to the Khagrachari hospital for treatment. The Bangladeshi witnesses said that the SB were well-equipped with firearms. Yet Justice Khan did not interview the injured victims to enquire about the SB attack on them and also to ascertain the nature of their injuries whether caused by bullets or knives. The Commission for Justice and Peace, a Bangladeshi human rights group, went to the hospital to interview the victims and learnt that there were only two victims instead of four. Needless to say the military authorities prevented the Commission from interviewing the injured victims. Two Jumma witnesses said that Kabir Hossain was punished for attempting to rape Jumma women by the local Jumma people. But Justice Khan did not investigate the matter whether Kabir Hossain was really injured by the SB or not.
Clearly, Justice Khan's finding was not only inadequate and inconclusive but also fabricated and suppressive. It was obviously intended to - 1) conceal the Logang massacre to the maximum extent, - 2) hide the Government policy to exterminate the Jumma people, - 3) exonerate the military commanders from the blame of committing the massacre, and - 4) blame the SB for causing the massacre.
Justice Khan's conclusions were bound to be erroneous as well because all the evidence he collected were either false or concocted. He could not corroborate the injuring of Kabir Hossain and his four companions by the SB with a curved knife nor could he substantiate the involvement of the SB in the Logang massacre in any way with facts and figures. On the one hand, none of the witnesses saw the SB attack on the five Bangladeshis. On the other hand, the Bangladeshi witnesses said that the SB were well-armed. Certainly the SB would have used their fire-arms had they really attacked the said Bangladeshis. Justice Khan did not interview the four injured victims possibly because their injuries were not caused by the SB at all. For the same reason, the military authorities also did not allow the Commission for Justice and Peace (CJP) to visit the victims in the hospital. The evidence about the number of injured victims were conflicting indeed. Some Bangladeshi witnesses said - two - and some Bangladeshi witnesses said - four - excluding the deceased Kabir Hossain. So was the evidence about the name of the deceased. Many military witnesses said - it was Kabir Ahmed - and many Bangladeshi witnesses said - it was Kabir Hossain. All the evidence seemed to be false and the whole incident appeared to be completely fabricated. Doubtless, Justice Khan had suppressed the actual fact that Kabir Hossain and his accomplices were injured when they went to rape Jumma women under the instruction of the military authorities and not by the SB.
Justice Khan recognised the Logang massacre and admitted that 550 Jumma houses were burnt down. Yet, in complete contradiction, he concluded that only twelve Jummas were killed, another thirteen were injured and another two were missing. Assuming that at least two Jummas were burnt alive in every house-hold, then the number of dead should be at least 1,100 because most of the old people, women and children could not flee their village. Justice Khan could easily establish the casualty figure by checking the ration card register, the voters register and the list of Jumma refugees in Tripura. The CJP also pointed out those important sources of information to him. Still he did not check those valuable lines of inquiry. Perhaps, it is worth noting that the military authorities refused to show the ration card list and the voters list to the CJP and also to Mr. Kalpa Ranjan Chakma, MP for the Khagrachari District. Justice Khan also did not try to collect the facts by asking the Jumma people privately. The Jumma people would not disclose anything about the military atrocities in the presence of any Bangladeshis for fear of military reprisals. Justice Khan also ignored one Jumma eye-witness who very boldly said that he saw one hundred and fifty bodies being carried away by the military personnel and the Bangladeshi infiltrators. He only relied on the evidence of the local military, police, administrative and medical officers who were nothing but the part of the Government setup for hiding the massacre. Having failed to cover up the massacre, Justice Khan had gone as far as to say that the number of casualties could not be as high as twelve hundred on the ground that the military authorities would not be able to remove secretly so many dead bodies. His argument is not only ridiculous but also childish as the military forces have already murdered tens of thousands of Jummas and very easily disposed of the dead bodies in complete secrecy. Therefore, Justice Khan's views on the number of casualties are totally false, calculated to suppress true information and tendentious to cover up the Logang massacre.
Justice Khan blamed the SB for causing the Logang massacre by supposing that the SB had killed Kabir Hossain whose death had provoked the military personnel and the Bangladeshi settlers to attack the Logang cluster village. His supposition has no legs to stand on because he could not prove that the SB was responsible for the death of the deceased in any manner. Justice Khan clearly entangled the SB in the death of Kabir Hossain in order to suppress the fact that the deceased and his accomplices were actually injured while attempting to rape Jumma women. So his conclusion that the SB had caused the massacre is ill- founded, indefensible and misleading.
Justice Khan himself has noted that there is tension between the Jumma people and the Bangladeshi infiltrators. No body denies that the tension is due to the illegal and forcible occupation of Jumma villages and agricultural lands by the Bangladeshi settlers. The primary task of the military forces is to depopulate the Jumma villages by employing all kinds of ethnic-cleansing tactics and then to resettle the depopulated areas with their co-religionists from the plains of Bangladesh. The Logang massacre was carried out to seize the area for the illegal Bangladeshi settlers. Yet Justice Khan tried to involve the SB in the Logang incident Just to disguise the Government's sinister motive what the military leaders frankly and openly declared - "We want only the Land and not the People of the CHT". He also turned his blind eye to the local military officers and so he could not see the real culprits of the massacre. Every body knows that the military personnel and the Bangladeshi infiltrators do not attack the Jumma people without the orders of the military commanders in the CHT and without the instructions of the Government. Justice Khan could not see the forest for the trees.
The news of the Logang massacre was leaked out through the twenty-three visitors to the area. So it was futile for Justice Khan to deny the entire massacre. Then he dexterously handled the inquiry to absolve the military commanders from the blame of premeditating the massacre at Logang by placing the blame mildly on some low-ranking military personnel and Bangladeshi settlers for attacking the Logang cluster village out of revenge but overwhelmingly on the SB for supposedly causing the incident.
Although Justice Khan had recognised the bitter relationship between the Jumma people and the Bangladeshi settlers, he was extremely biased and unjust indeed when he recommended the further arming of the Bangladeshi infiltrators as a measure of preventing future incidents like that of Logang. In stead of reducing violence, his recommendation will certainly increase violence manifold in the CHT. In fact, he is very injudiciously encouraging the Bangladeshi settlers to commit more massacres of the unarmed Jummas.
Even further more, Justice Khan recommended the immediate settlement of tens of thousands of Bangladeshi infiltrators brought into the CHT under the Government- financed Bangladeshization of the CHT scheme. The scheme violates the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation of 1900 which protects the political, economic, social, cultural and religious rights of the Jumma people. It also violates the existing Bangladeshi laws. Such a serious disregard for human rights in the CHT and such a blatant disrespect for Bangladeshi laws prove once again that Justice Khan is extremely partial to his co-religionists and terribly hostile to the people of the CHT.
Justice Khan made a remark that he had not come across any extrajudicial executions committed by the Bangladesh security forces in the CHT. His remark is contradictory to his knowledge of the military-premeditated Logang massacre. The world knows that the Bangladesh military forces have killed thousands of Jumma men, women and children without trial in any courts of law. Justice Khan's observation is definitely a flagrant travesty of the truth. The independent inquiry report of the international Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) belies his comment.
Justice Khan's report is fundamentally flawed. His impartiality and independence are questionable as he has clearly sided with the military authorities. The truth of his finding is also equally doubtful because he has suppressed information, distorted facts and concocted evidence. In a nut-shell, Justice Khan has helped the military authorities cover up the Logang massacre. Therefore, his report is not true, credible and worthy of being called an enquiry report.
In view of Justice Khan's palpable attempt to conceal the Logang massacre, the international community is fervently requested to send an independent international commission to Logang to investigate the said incident. The Jumma people would fully cooperate with such a commission and disclose all the truth to it without any fear.
2. LOGANG MASSACRE
The military forces forcibly relocated some fifteen hundred Jumma families from the surrounding Jumma villages at the Logang cluster village, which is nothing but a concentration camp, and distributed their ancestral villages and farmlands to the Bangladeshi infiltrators free of cost. Then they hatched a plot to find an excuse to get rid of those Jumma prisoners. On 10 April, 1992, the military authorities sent two Bangladeshis, armed with local 'dao's, broad curved knives, to rape some Jumma women who were grazing their cattle at their Logang cluster village. The Jumma women tried to defend themselves and at the same time they cried for help. A Jumma gentleman came to their rescue and asked the Bangladeshi rapists to leave the Jumma women alone. Instead of going away, the rapists attacked the Jumma gentleman and hacked him to death. During the attack, one of the rapists was also injured. After killing the Jumma gentleman, the rapists went straight to the camp of the Bangla Desh Rifles (BDR). The military authorities found the excuse they were looking for and used the injured rapist as a victim of the Shanti Bahini (SB) attack. On the pretext of searching out the SB, the military forces and the Bangladeshi settlers combinedly attacked the Logang cluster village immediately after the arrival of the two rapists at the BDR camp. They hacked many Jummas to death and shot dead those who tried to flee. Then the invaders forced the old people, women and children into their homes and burnt them alive by setting their homes on fire. According to the survivors, eye-witnesses and the local authorities, some eight hundred houses were burnt down and about twelve hundred Jummas mostly old people, women and children were killed in the massacre. Many of the survivors fled to the Tripura State of India.
The military authorities attempted their utmost to conceal the Logang massacre. They cordoned off the entire Logang cluster village immediately after carrying out the premeditated massacre. Brigadier Sharif Aziz, the Commander of the Khagrachari cantonment, even prevented Mr. Samiran Dewan, the Chairman of the Khagrachari District Council, from visiting the site of massacre on the day of occurrence. Incidentally, a group of twenty. three visitors including human rights activists, parliamentarians, lawyers, journalists, professors, the Deputy Attorney General of Bangladesh, and a western human rights activist, M/s Rosaline Costa, was in the vicinity of Logang at the time of the incident to participate in a Jumma festival known as 'Bizu'. The military authorities also did not permit those visitors to investigate the matter on the spot. However, the visitors were able to collect enough information from the Jumma survivors and eye-witnesses, the local authorities and the military authorities as well.
According to the above-mentioned visitors' report, the drivers of military trucks carried the dead and the injured to a secret place and burned them together. One survivor, Mr. Boishishta Muni Chakma came back to the Logang cluster village on 11 April, 1992, to claim his wife's body and saw thirtynine bodies lying around the site of his burnt house. He was refused to remove his wife's body for cremation. Mr. Samiran Dewan, the Chairman of the Khagrachari Hill District Council, managed to visit a small part of the Logang village on 11 April, 1992, and counted one hundred and thirtyeight bodies. Then he was prevented to inspect the rest of the village. Brig. Sharif Aziz admitted that the number of the dead seen by Mr. Samiran Dewan was correct. Another survivor and eye-witness, Mr. Chandra Sagor Chakma witnessed children being thrown into the fire. He also saw one hundred and fifty bodies being carried away by the military personnel and the Bangladeshi settlers. At that time Mr. Chandra Sagor Chakma was hiding in a Tripura house of the Logang cluster village. A local Bangladeshi doctor visited the spot to help the injured and counted three hundred dead bodies and then he could not bear the sight any longer. On the basis of the available information at that time, the twentythree visitors issued a Joint statement on 19 April, 1992, stating that - "more than 400 houses were burnt to ashes and more than 200 children, women and elders were killed". Their report enabled the civilized world to know about the Logang massacre.
Because of the presence of the said visitors in the area, the Government could not conceal the massacre entirely. So it directed the military authorities to play down the scale of the massacre and also to place the blame at the door of the SB. Accordingly, Brig. Sharif Aziz issued a statement on 11 April, 1992, saying that ten Jummas and one Bangladeshi died in the Logang massacre. He also said that "the killings had resulted from a Shanti Bahini attack and the ensuing fight between the Shanti Bahini and local Bengalis". Amnesty International reported in May, 1992, - "Official statements about the incident refer to 13 dead and 14 missing. International news agencies reported defence sources as saying that 12 tribal people were killed and 16 injured.... Major General Mahmudul Hasan, regional commander in southeastern Bangladesh and in charge of the 24 Infantry Division, said in an interview with Reuters news agency that the gunbattle in Logang had been sparked by Shanti Bahini activities and that 13 people had been killed and 34 injured".
The Anti-Slavery International, Survival International, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Organising Committee Chittagong Hill Tracts Campaign and various human rights groups have received reports that at least twelve hundred Jummas were killed in the Logang massacre, Amnesty International has also received information about several hundred Jumma deaths in the same incident. All these human rights groups believe that the Logang massacre was committed by the Bangladesh security forces in league with the Bangladeshi settlers and not by the SB in any way. They also believe that the Government is hiding the massacre,
The Government has been making desperate attempts to cover up the Logang massacre indeed. For example, when Survival International asked the Bangladesh High Commission in London to comment on the Logang massacre, the latter had not only denied any killings but also the whole incident. The Bangladesh Finance Minister, Mr. Saifur Rahman, commenting on a demonstration, staged by a number of European human rights organizations and a few Jumma human rights groups, against the Logang mass-killings during the Bangladesh Aid Consortium meeting in Paris on April 22, 1992, said - "the charges were totally untrue....similar accusations of repression in the Chittagong Hill Tracts had been made during the previous year's donor countries' meeting .... It is a contrived situation to embarrass my delegation here".
Under heavy international pressure, the Home Minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Abdul Matin Chowdhury visited the Logang cluster village on 25 April, 1992 (only after an interval of more than two weeks!). While addressing a public gathering at Pujgang High School ground (near the Logang cluster village) he blamed the SB for the Logang massacre and praised the military authorities for their role in the incident instead of punishing them and the Bangladeshi infiltrators. Similarly, international criticism forced the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda Rahman to visit the Logang village on 13 May, 1992 (only after an interval of more than a month!). In a speech mainly delivered to Muslim settlers gathered specifically for her visit, she also held the SB responsible for the massacre in stead of taking actions against the military and the Bangladeshi culprits. Then Begum Khaleda Rahman warned that "the massacre would be repeated if any Muslims lost their lives at the hands of the indigenous CHT peoples". The statements of both the Ministers clearly indicated that the massacre was carried out under orders from the Government and that the Ministers had entangled the SB in the incident just to conceal their hands in the premeditated Logang massacre.
3. THE REPORT
Justice Khan's report is surprisingly brief and vague. It does not mention how the investigation was conducted, how the lines of enquiry were chosen, how the witnesses were selected, in what environment the witnesses were interviewed, what the witnesses were asked, what the witnesses said, and all the important information about the investigation. The report shows that the investigation was incomplete and inadequate as the most vital lines of enquiry had been omitted, the right witnesses had been by-passed and the most valuable evidence had been neglected. It is full of inconsistencies between the facts and the inferences. The report also shows undue importance to the fabricated evidence of the military, police and the other Government officers. No wonder, it seems to be an elaboration of a statement made by the CHT military authorities on the Logang massacre on 11 April, 1992. The report also resembles the military analysis of the CHT crisis as issued in a paper by the military authorities in response to an independent inquiry report published by the international Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) in May, 1991. Perhaps, it is worth-noting that the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry actually wrote the paper in the name of the military authorities. There is no mistaking that the report of Justice Khan is totally oriented towards the military version of the Logang massacre. Therefore, the Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh is very likely to have also written this report in the name of Justice Khan with a view to hiding the mass-killings at Logang.
The gist of Justice Khan's report is that the SB injured five Bangladeshi infiltrators with 'dao's, curved knives, at Logang cluster village on 10 April, 1992. One of the injured, Kabir Ahmed or Kabir Hossain died later due to his throat injury and the rest were sent to Khagrachari Hospital for treatment. Then, in reprisal for the killing of one Bangladeshi and injuring another four, the Bangladesh security personnel in league with the Bangladeshi infiltrators attacked the Logang cluster village immediately after the original incident occurred. As a consequence, twelve Jummas were killed, thirteen Jummas were injured, two Jummas were missing and five hundred and fifty Jumma houses were burnt down.
4. INVESTIGATION ENVIRONMENT
The investigation into the Logang massacre was carried out by Justice Khan and his Secretary, Mr. Mohammad Abdul Matin Sirker, the Additional District Magistrate of the Khagrachari District. The former is a zealous supporter of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the latter is a senior civil servant. 30 their impartiality and independence are doubtful. Moreover, both of them are Muslim, Bangladeshi and non-Jumma. Therefore, they were not reliable to and trusted by the Jumma people who feared military reprisal if they spoke out the truth. Justice Khan and his secretary talked to the Logang villagers in the presence of the military, police and civil officers and the Bangladeshi infiltrators. Naturally, the Jumma people did not dare speak against the military authorities or the Government or the Bangladeshi infiltrators. They took evidence from the witnesses at the Khagrachari Circuit House. The military authorities occupied the ground floor and the enquiry commission sat on the upper floor, The military authorities selected all the witnesses, thoroughly briefed them and then sent them upstairs for their interviews with the enquiry commission. In the case of the Jumma witnesses, they were not interviewed on their own or as a Jumma group. The military authorities always sent Bangladeshis along with them for interviews to watch them so that they could not disclose the actual facts. In fact, all the Jumma witnesses had no opportunity to give evidence in privacy. At the same time, the military authorities prevented the Jumma students from giving evidence to the enquiry commission and harassed them for seeking access to Justice Khan. In short, the Jumma witnesses were coerced to say what the military authorities needed to conceal the massacre. The enquiry commission failed to create a sense of confidence and security among the Jumma witnesses.
5. FLAWED CONCLUSIONS
Evidently, Justice Khan's inferences were unusually flawed partly because he did not investigate the matter adequately and partly because he deliberately suppressed most of the valuable information relating to the Logang massacre. He could not substantiate his inference - that the SB had injured Kabir Hossain and the other Bangladeshi rapists with local 'dao's (broad curved knives) - with concrete facts. All the military and Bangladeshi witnesses were not from the Logang cluster village and they had not seen the incident for themselves. They simply heard of the incident from the injured Bangladeshi rapists. The Jumma witnesses were coerced to confirm the military version of the story. Even the military and Bangladeshi witnesses were not sure who was the deceased and how many Bangladeshi rapists were injured in the incident. The military witnesses claimed - the deceased was Kabir Ahmed and four other rapists were also injured. At the same time, the Bangladeshi infiltrators claimed - the deceased was Kabir Hossain and two other rapists were also injured. M/s Rosaline Costa and her party of Bangladeshi visitors were told at the Khagrachari Hospital that the number of injured Bangladeshi rapists were two and not four. Justice Khan neither interviewed the injured Bangladeshi rapists nor examined the nature of their injuries whether caused by bullets or curved knives. The military authorities also disallowed H/s Rosaline Costa and her companions to interview the two injured Bangladeshi rapists in the hospital. All the military and Bangladeshi witnesses said that the SB were well-armed with firearms. Yet they claimed that the SB injured Kabir Hossain and his accomplices with curved knives. Later it was proved that none of the military and Bangladeshi witnesses had seen the SB attacking either Kabir Hossain and his accomplices or the Logang cluster village for themselves. Justice Khan had also not investigated the evidence of two Jumma witnesses that Kabir Hossain was punished by a local Chairman for attempting to rape a Jumma woman. Possibly, he did not interview the injured Bangladeshi rapists and the military authorities did not allow M/s Rosaline Costa and her group to interview the injured Bangladeshi rapists because the attack by the SB on Kabir Hossain and his accomplices was a fabricated incident. Justice Khan had also admitted that the SB had not attacked the Logang cluster village. Obviously, the evidence collected by him are inadequate, conflicting and concocted. His attempt to suppress the actual facts is crystal-clear. Therefore, Justice Khan's conclusion that the SB had injured Kabir Hossain was not only untrue but also one hundred percent fabricated. Had he been impartial and honest, then he could easily find out that Kabir Hossain was injured when he and another Bangladeshi infiltrator were trying to rape Jumma women under the orders of the local military commanders.
Justice Khan concluded that twelve Jummas were killed, thirteen Jummas were injured, two Jummas were missing and five hundred and fifty Jumma houses were burnt down as a result of the Logang massacre. These figures fully tally with the casualty figures given by Brigadier Sharif Aziz (witness no. 65) and Lt. Col. Matin (witness no. 66), Zonal military Commander of the Panchari Zone, Justice Khan also confirmed that the military personnel and the Bangladeshi infiltrators combinedly attacked the Logang cluster village immediately after Kabir Hossain was injured indicating that many old people, women and children could not find enough time to flee the onslaught. According to the accounts of the villagers, eye-witnesses and the local authorities, the invaders hacked many Jummas, opened fire on the fleeing Jummas, set some eight hundred Jumma houses on fire after locking the old people, women and children into their houses, cordoned off the entire village, put the dead and injured Jummas together on military trucks, drove them to secret places and burned them together.
Justice Khan underestimated the number of houses burnt down. Assuming at least two old people, women and children died in every house-hold, then the number of dead Jummas should not be less than sixteen hundred excluding those who were hacked to death and shot dead. Among the survivors and eye-witnesses, 2 bold Jummas, Mr. Boishishta Muni Chakma and Hr. Chandra Sagor Chakma pointed out to Justice Khan that they saw thirtynine and one hundred fifty dead bodies respectively. Mr. Samiran Dewan counted one hundred and thirtyeight dead bodies in a small area of the village alone on 11 April, 1992. Even Brig. Sharif Aziz told M/s Rosaline Costa & her group of Bangladeshi visitors that Mr. Samiran Dewan's statement about the dead bodies he had seen was true. The exact number of dead and injured Jummas could be easily found by checking the ration card list, the voters list and the list of Jumma survivors who took refuge in the Tripura State of India. Justice Khan did not do that despite he was advised by M/s Rosaline Costa. The military authorities also did not allow M/s Rosaline Costa and her group of Bangladeshi visitors and also the HP from the Khagrachari District, Mr. Kalpa Ranjan Chakma, to see the ration card list. It may be recalled that the military commanders did not permit M/s Rosaline Costa and her group of Bangladeshi journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, parliamentarians and professors to visit the Logang cluster village even on 11 and 12 April, 9 1992. Brig. Sharif Aziz himself prevented Mr. Samiran Dewan from inspecting the site of massacre on the day of occurrence. These evidence prove absolutely that Justice Khan did not tell the truth about the number of deaths. In reality, he tried to hide the number of deaths in support of the military version of the Logang massacre.
Normally, in a shoot-out on a fleeing crowd, more people are injured than killed. Like the military authorities, Justice Khan claimed that only twelve Jummas were killed and another thirteen injured. But the Defence sources of Bangladesh told the international news agencies that twelve Jumma people were killed and sixteen were injured. At the same time, MaJ. Gen. Mahmudul Hasan, the General Officer Commanding of the Chittagong Division of the Bangladesh Army and the real ruler of the CHT, told the Reuters news agency that twelve Jummas were killed and thirtyfour injured. The very contradictory statements of various military officers show that Justice Khan's report on the number of injured Jummas was wrong and designed to back up the false information given by the local military commanders. There is no doubt that hundreds of Jummas were injured and that most of them were burned alive along with the dead secretly.
In keeping with the military authorities' statement on the number of missing Jummas, Justice Khan reported that only two Jummas were missing. M/s Rosaline Costa pointed out to him that many survivors had fled to the Tripura State of India. Still Justice Khan stuck to the number of missing Jumma people claimed by the military authorities. Apparently, he did not tell the truth. At the same time, Justice Khan had not only helped the military authorities conceal the extent of the most horrible massacre of recent years but he had also attempted to mislead the world.
Justice Khan had affirmed that the SB had not attacked the Logang cluster village. He could not corroborate the attack on Kabir Hossain by the SB either despite his dexterous manipulation of the entire inquiry process. Therefore, his inference that the SB had provoked the military and the Bangladeshi infiltrators to attack the Logang cluster village by injuring Kabir Hossain was baseless and out of the question. Now, the question arises why the military authorities and Justice Khan attempted to implicate the SB in the injuring of Kabir Hossain. The answer is simple. They wanted to cover up the fact that Kabir Hossain was actually injured while attempting to rape Jumma women. Their strategy was that if they could prove the injuring of Kabir Hossain by the SB, then they would be able to Justify their attack on the Logang cluster village on the pretext of flushing out the SB from the area. The military personnel and the Bangladeshi settlers jointly carried out many massacres of the innocent Jumma villagers in the CHT on such lame excuses. Surely, they have massacred the inhabitants of the Logang cluster village with a view to settling their co-religionists in the area as part of the Government's ethnic cleansing campaign in the CHT.
Naturally, one may ask the question why the Government did not deny having committed the whole incident if it was able to get away with all the previous massacres. The Government could not do it because at the time of the incident M/s Rosaline Costa and her team advented in the area like a God-send. These compassionate visitors had spared no efforts to unearth the massacre. Immediately, they alerted the civilised world about the horrible mass-killings at Logang. In the face of world-wide protests, the Government realised that the complete denial of the massacre would have roused greater international indignation against it and so it admitted the massacre but on a very small scale which amounted to a massive cover-up of such a big massacre. Then it appointed Justice Khan, a zealous supporter of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, to minimise the scale of the massacre as far as possible. As expected, Justice Khan toed the Government line by suppressing the crucial information and fabricating the evidence to the highest degree. He followed the Government guideline so much so that he endorsed exactly the casualty figure given by the military authorities. Even he dismissed the allegation of twelve hundred deaths in the massacre by putting up a ridiculous argument - "It is impossible to dispose of such a large number of dead bodies and/or to remove them and/or to hide them in any place because such a large number of dead bodies can not be removed except by vehicles and they are to be disposed of near the road and that any such disposal of dead bodies cannot be concealed" (page 19). It was naive of Justice Khan not to know that the military authorities have many vehicles and that there are thousands of military personnel and Bangladeshi settlers in the area. Certainly, it is not difficult at all for the military authorities to remove and dispose of twelve hundred or so dead bodies by using their vehicles and the available man-power. According to the accounts of the survivors and eye-witnesses, the military personnel and the Bangladeshi infiltrators combinedly put the dead and injured Jummas together on military trucks, drove them to secret places and then burned them. Tens of thousands of Jummas were massacred and then secretly disposed of easily by the military authorities. Therefore, Justice Khan's peculiar argument has no legs to stand on. The fact is that he tried to conceal the actual casualty figure in collusion with the Government.
Justice Khan had not investigated thoroughly to find out the real culprits of the Logang massacre. At the same time, he manipulated the evidence in such a way so that some insignificant persons bear the blame that should fall on the actual criminals behind the massacre at Logang. Justice Khan singled out Habilder Nurul Iman (witness no. 57) and Subedar Habibur Rahman (witness no. 55) among the many other low- ranking military personnel as responsible for the Logang tragedy. It is a common knowledge in Bangladesh that the Government gives instructions to the military authorities about its plans and programmes in the CHT and then the latter translate those instructions into actions. The Bangladeshi settlers confessed again and again in public meetings that they do not attack the Jumma people without the orders of the local military commanders. Being low- ranking military personnel, Habilder Nurul Iman and Subedar Habibur Rahman have no decision making power. They must have acted under the orders of the military officers at Panchari who must have taken orders from Brig. Sharif Aziz and also from the GOC, Chittagong Division of the Bangladesh Army, Maj. Gen. Mahmudul Hasan. Certainly, those military officers starting from Maj. Gen. Mahmudul Hasan, Brig. Sharif Aziz to the local military commanders of the Panchari area would never have organised such a huge massacre without the prior approval of the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda Rahman. It is, perhaps, important to note that she repeatedly declared her intention to follow the policy of the former disgraced military dictator of Bangla Desh, Gen. Hossain Mohammad Ershad, in the CHT. In fact, Begum Khaleda Rahman frankly confessed her hand in the massacre when she warned the CHT people in public meetings at Logang and Dighinala that - "the massacre would be repeated if any Muslims lost their lives at the hands of the indigenous CHT people". Clearly, Justice Khan found the easy scapegoats like Habilder Nurul Iman, Subedar Habibur Rahman and the other low-ranking military personnel for the sins of Begum Khaleda Rahman and her military lieutenants in order to exonerate the Government and the other military accomplices from master-minding the Logang massacre. He turned his blind eye towards Begum Khaleda Rahman and the military commanders in the CHT and could not see the real culprits behind the Logang massacre. Although Justice Khan has recommended the trial and punishment of those scapegoats, the Government would never try and punish them. However, they would be taken into custody, tried and punished on papers only.
Highly commending the role of the military forces in the Logang mass-murders, Justice Khan had remarked - "I may also put on record that the level of casualty in the Hill Tracts at the hands of the Army in counter insurgency operation is very low compared to the situation in some parts of the sub-continent or elsewhere in the world. Not a single case of extra-judicial execution as done elsewhere in some countries in the name of integrity of the country or suppression of terrorism, or extra-legal detention, has been brought to the notice of the commission" (page 23). His remark is contradictory to his knowledge of the military- premeditated Logang mass-killings. The world knows that the Bangladesh military forces have detained, tortured and killed thousands of Jummas without charge or trial in any courts of law. Justice Khan's comment is surely a blatant travesty of the truth. The independent inquiry report of the international CHTC belies his remark.
Justice Khan found the SB not involved in the attack of the Logang cluster village on the basis of the false and fabricated evidence given by the military and the Bangladeshi witnesses. He could not also corroborate his inference that the SB had injured Kabir Hossain and the other Bangladeshi rapists even with the untrue and concocted statements of those unreliable military and Bangladeshi witnesses. On the other hand, Justice Khan did not try to find out the real causes of the Logang massacre and who were responsible for it. Therefore, his conclusion that the SB had sparked 0=9C5 the Logang massacre was baseless, far from the reality and motivated to obscure the actual culprits behind the massacre and the ethnic cleansing policy of the Government. The SB was not involved in the incident any manner. Doubtless, Justice Khan had attempted to conceal the military-premeditated Logang massacre and his entire investigation process was fundamentally flawed and fully stage-managed.
6. BIASED RECOMMENDATIONS
To prevent further incidents like that of Logang in the CHT, Justice Khan had recommended the further arming of the Bangladeshi infiltrators (page 24) by stating - "they must raise their own security force namely village defence party who should be given arms and training for protection of the village....". He had recognised the bitter relationship between the Jumma people and the Bangladeshi settlers. Justice Khan had also admitted that it was the armed Bangladeshi infiltrators who attacked the unarmed Jummas of the Logang cluster village. Still he advocated the arming of the extremely hostile Bangladeshi settlers. Evidently, his unjust and biased recommendation will increase Bangladeshi violence in the CHT on an unprecedented scale. In fact, Justice Khan had encouraged very unjudiciously the Government and the Bangladeshi infiltrators to commit more massacres of the unarmed Jumma people. Over and above, his violent recommendation contradicted his finding.
Justice Khan recommended also the immediate settlement of tens of thousands of Bangladeshi infiltrators brought into the CHT under the Government-financed Bangladeshization of the CHT scheme. The scheme violates the CHT Regulation of 1900 which protects the political, economic, social, cultural and religious rights of the Jumma people. It also violates the existing Bangladeshi laws which forbid the Bangladeshi settlers to occupy forcibly the Jumma villages and agricultural lands. Such a serious disregard for human rights in the CHT and such a flagrant disrespect for Bangladeshi laws prove once again that Justice Khan is extremely partial to his co-religionists and terribly hostile to the people of the CHT.
Justice Khan himself has noted that there is tension between the Jumma people and the Bangladeshi infiltrators. Nobody denies that the tension is due to the illegal and forcible occupation of Jumma villages and farmlands by the Bangladeshi illegal settlers. The primary task of the military forces is to depopulate the Jumma villages by employing all kinds of ethnic-cleansing tactics and then to resettle the depopulated areas with their co-religionists from the plains of Bangladesh. The Logang massacre was, in fact, carried out to seize the area for a few thousand Bangladeshi settlers. Yet Justice Khan tried to involve the SB in the Logang incident just to disguise the Government's sinister policy what the military leaders frankly and openly declared - "We want only the land and not the People of the CHT". He was fully aware of the Bangladeshi invasion of the CHT. Still Justice Khan claimed that the insurgence is the main cause of the crisis in the CHT. He could not see the forest for the trees. The JSS and the SB came into being to defend the Jumma people, their traditional homeland and their political, economic, social, cultural and religious rights from the Bangladeshi onslaught. Justice Khan's biased recommendation is bound to cause manifold increase in the Bangladeshi violence against the helpless Jumma men, women and children. In fact, he has recommended the extermination of the Jumma Nation by recommending the settlement of the Bangladeshi infiltrators in the CHT.
Justice Khan's report is fundamentally flawed. His impartiality and independence are questionable as he has clearly sided with the Government and the military authorities. The truth of his finding is also equally doubtful because he has suppressed information, distorted facts and concocted evidence. In a nut-shell, Justice Khan has aided the Government and the military authorities to cover up the Logang massacre. He has displayed extreme partiality towards his Bangladeshi co-religionists on the one hand and demonstrated century-old hostility to the Jumma people while making recommendations for preventing further violence in the CHT on the other. Justice Khan's report is so full of inconsistencies, inadequacies, omissions, fabricated evidence and biased conclusions that it does not look like an inquiry report written by an experienced judge. Possibly it was written by the military authorities in the name of Justice Khan. Whoever might have written it, it is not true, credible and worthy of being called an impartial report. Therefore, the international community is fervently requested to send an independent international commission to Logang to investigate the said massacre. The Jumma people would co-operate fully with such a commission and disclose all the truth about the massacre to it without any fear.