Bangladesh police attack indigenous Chakma people in Teknaf injuring 12 including a pregnant woman
In the early hours of 30 May 2012, a group of Bangladesh police personnel from Teknaf police station and Muslim settlers led by Sub-Inspector (SI) Bakhtiar and local influential Abdul Haque raided indigenous Chakma villages of Howaikyong area under Teknaf in Cox’s Bazaar. In this attack, 9 houses were completely ransacked and 11 Chakma villagers were severely wounded. Besides, 7 villagers including 4 Chakma youths and students were arrested. One pregnant woman prematurely gave birth to a baby due to torture and several women were sexually harassed.
It is learnt that on 29 May 2012 around 10.00 pm, a group of Muslim settlers numbering 10-11 persons led by one policeman Sipon Mian (32), a village police member Mohamed Hossain and a local land grabber Mohamed Abdul Haque attacked Amtali Chakma village of Howaikyong union in Teknaf. They first raided the houses of Bhantu Ching Chakma (25) s/o late Neemong Chakma and Chingkyahla Chakma (40) s/o Chaigya U Chakma and tried to bring out young women from the houses. The neighbours of this village rushed there while the young women were shouting. Sensing the public presence, the two police personnel and the Muslim settlers fled the area.
Around 3.00 am on 30 May 2012, the police taking more police force from Howaikyong police post led by Sub-Inspector (SI) Bakhtiar and more musclemen led by local influential Abdul Haque again attacked Amtali Chakma villages. They indiscriminately beat the Chakma villagers and robbed the valuables of the houses.The police and settlers first raided the house of Ucha Thaoi Chakma (40) of Amtali village and arrested him without any allegation and then severely beat. At that time his 8-month pregnant wife Ms. Malaimey Chakma (30) was also beaten while she tried to protect her husband from the attackers. Due to beating, Malaimey gave birth to a premature baby. She was first admitted at local health complex at Teknaf and on 1 June she was transferred to Cox’s Bazaar district hospital with serious condition.
Then the settlers raided the house of Pou Aung Chakma and looked for him and his son Shanti Mong Chakma. The settlers ransacked and robbed the house. The settlers also tortured his daughter-in-law Ms. Chhaya Mee Chakma (28) while she tried to prevent them from ransacking and robbing the house. In this attack, hand of the Chhaya Mee Chakma was broken. After that, the police and settlers ransacked and robbed the houses of Chhoi Mong Chakma, Nee Mong Chakma, Aung Kee Chakma, Ukhya Hla Chakma, Thowai Chha Chakma, Mong Thing Chakma and Sai Mong Goo Chakma. At that time, the gang leader of the attack Abdul Haque, Azizul Haque and Jahangir Alam (s/o Azizul Haque) inhumanly beat and molested Ms. Lucky Chakma (18) and Ms. Samiya Ching Chakma Sumi (15) in front of police.
In this attack, 9 houses of indigenous villagers were ransacked and 11 indigenous Chakma villagers including two girls and two boys were critically wounded. Of them, 4 innocent Chakma villagers were arrested without showing any allegation. The victims were identified as-
Consecutive raids by the police on indigenous villagers continued 30 and 31 May. Police encircled the village. At present, Aamtoli village is almost without any male members as they have fled their village fearing further attack and police harassment. It is learnt that the villagers are in grave fear even to bring the wounded to Cox’s Bazaar district headquarters for better treatment lest police arrest them.
Abdul Haque, Azizul Haque and Jahangir Alam (s/o Azizul Haque) occupied hilly land of local Buddhist temple and have been staying there erecting house on this land. In addition, Abdul Haque has been trying to occupy land owned by indigenous Chakma villagers of Shukna Amtali village in Teknaf. In the arbitrations, Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) gave decision/judgment in favour of indigenous Chakma villagers. Failing to win in the arbitration, Abdul Haque filed a false case against 11 Chakma villagers of Shukna Amtali village with Teknaf police station on 13 May 2012.
Police falsely claimed that some police personnel of Hoaikong police post went to the Amtali village following a case filed by some Abdul Haque to arrest the culprits. Police also claimed that when police were returning with two accused arrested, the villagers swooped on them with sharp weapons, and gravely injured one of their colleagues namely Shipon Mian. But the villagers claimed that police’s version of the incident was fully fabricated and baseless. Police went to the Amtali village putting civil dress with the motive to conduct robbery in the name of searching accused persons.
(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)
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