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Bangladesh army

On 19-20 February 2010 Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers attacked the indigenous Buddhist people at Baghaichari. Many indigenous houses were burnt down including Buddhist temples. The aim of the attack was to drive out the indigenous Chakma Buddhists and grab their land. Members of the Bangladesh army in CHT.


Bangladesh army tries to enroll Bengali settlers in voter list of Mahalchari in Khagrachari district

An army officer from Mahalchari Zone in Khagrachari district has been putting pressure on Monotosh Chakma, an Election Commission appointed Field Supervisor for Mahalchari area, to enlist Muslim settlers as permanent voters of Ward No. 5 under Kiangghat Union. Major Azad told Mr. Chakma that he must register the Muslim settlers as permanent resident of Ward No. 5. On 12 December, the Thana Nirbahi Officer Abul Hossain summoned him at his office to discuss the issue of voter listing. Azad was also present there.

When both of them raised the settler issue, Mr. Chakma told them that he could not go beyond the rules set by the EC. He said, "we are bound to go house to house and enlist the people. We will definitely enlist all those we find eligible for registration as voter in Word No. 5. But unfortunately, as far as I know, there is not a single settler house in that area. Therefore, we cannot enlist some one as voters of Ward No. 5 when we know that he or she is in fact residing in a nearby area. We are helpless." The Major was not ready to hear this. He threatened him again and the TNO accused him of creating division between the indigenous people and Muslim settlers.

After failing to coerce Mr. Chakma into doing his bidding at the TNO office, Major Azad sent an order for Mr. Chakma to meet him at Zone headquarters on 18 December. It is not known whether he complied with the order or what happened afterwards. The army has long been trying to enlist Muslim settlers of nearby cluster villages as permanent voters of Ward No. 5. They forced the District Election officials to bend the rules and appointed Mohamed Hemayet, a teacher of Lemuchari primary school and a Muslim settler, as a field enumerator in addition to Joti Purno Chakma.


Sources:

Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
For further details contact: hwhrf_99@yahoo.com or hwhrf.cht@gmail.com

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