Race Riots

Armed Resistance
Religious Persecution
Rapes & Abductions
Jumma Refugees
CHT Treaty
Foreign Aid


Riot Victim

Pratul Chakma, one of the two PCP activists who were killed during unprovoked police firing in Khagrachari on crowds of peoples who were trying to assemble for the joint conference of the PGP and HWF on 22 April, 1998.

The inter race relation between the indigenous people and the Muslim settlers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is for ever tense. Even a minor incidence can spark an inter race riot. For example a riot can flare up from a petty crime like pickpocketing or from crime like sexual harassment. Irrespective of whoever is in fault, the indigenous people and Muslim settlers polarize into two opposite camps. The Muslim settlers are backed by the Bangladesh military personnel.

8 August 2008

Around 8 am, a group of Muslim settlers led by Nazir Mian attacked the indigenous people who were erecting bamboo fence around a piece of land measuring 27 decimal. The land was disputed by Nazir Mian, but after a court hearing both the Deputy Commissioner and the District Council of Khagrachari gave verdicts in favor of Apru Marma and Sathoai Marma. The Muslim settlers armed with machete, axes and hokey sticks went on rampage against the indigenous people. The attackers smashed the fence. Five indigenous people injured in the attack had been identified as

  1. Aungyo Marma (40)
  2. Mrachathoai Marma (42)
  3. Ms. Paichi Marma (18)
  4. Ms. Madhuri Marma (20)
  5. Suiching Marma.

Two Muslim settlers were also injured. One of them had been identified as Zahir Ahmed. After hearing the news of the attack, around 150 indigenous people thronged at the spot. But by that time the attack was over and a group of Bangladesh army and police personnel had reached the spot to protect the Muslim settlers. Some of the attackers had been identified as

  1. Nazir Mian (65)
  2. Fatik (40)
  3. Munir (20)
  4. Selim (18)
  5. Mamun,
  6. Kashem
  7. Bachaya.

24-25 May 2008

The Muslim setters attempted to use the death of Abul Hossain (15) to launch a communal attack against the indigenous villages in Baghaichari under Rangamati district. Abul Hossain went to the lake to fish on Saturday (24 May) morning. The following day in the afternoon his dead body was recovered. Abul Hossain was actually drowned in the water. A section of the Muslim settlers then incited communal sentiment among the Muslim settlers over the boy's death and tried to mount an attack on indigenous villages in Sarbotoli and Sizok Dore.

Indigenous people also organized themselves to repulse the attack and the battle cry Ujo (March forward) reverberated throughout 40 to 50 indigenous villages in the area - from Sarbotoli to Tuloban. Because of this and because of lack of support from the Bangladesh army, the Muslim settlers dared not attack. Otherwise there would have been another communal attack.

19-20 April 2008 Sajek Riot

Bangladesh army started settlement for a new batch of Muslim settlers along the roadsides of Sajek road from Baghaichari to Gangaram Mukh by forcibly occupying the land owned by the indigenous Buddhist people. The indigenous Buddhist villagers of these areas have been protesting against the illegal settlement programme. Despites the protesting, the Muslim settlers illegally constructed some houses at Gangaram area on the land owned by the Buddhist villagers. On 19 April around 2.00 am the Muslim settlers destroyed a dozen of Buddhist houses of Bhanga Karbari Para. On 20 April indigenous Buddhist villagers also destroyed some settler houses constructed couple of days earlier. In retaliation to this act, the Muslim settlers equipped with sharp weapons started attack on Buddhist villages at 9.30 pm. The Buddhist villagers also organized themselves to prevent the attack. At that time, a group of Bangladesh army personnel from Baghaihat zone led by commanding officer Lt. Col. Sajid Imtiaz rushed there. However, they did not prevent the Muslim settlers from setting fire on the Buddhist houses. Rather the army led by Captain Zabaedur Rahman supplied patrol to the Muslim settlers to set fire on Jumma houses. More than 100 Buddhist houses of 7 villages namely Nursery Para, Baibachara, Purba Para, Nangal Mura, Retkaba, Simana para and Gangaram Mukh were completely burnt to ashes.

1-3 April 2006 Maischari Riot

At around 8.30 a.m. 100-150 Muslim settlers attacked three Jumma villages named Saprue Karbari Para, Nua Para and Chakra Para at Maischari under Khagrachari. In this attack 2 Jumma girls were raped and more than 50 Jummas were injured. About 100 Jumma houses were looted and household goods broken down.

Since 1 April 2006 Muslim settlers from Nunchari cluster village and Joysen Karbari Para cluster village started clearing grounds for making houses for newly arrived Muslim settlers on the recorded lands of the Bouddha Shishughar (Buddhist Children) Orphanage and Jumma villagers at Saprue Karbari Para. Every day they threatened the Jummas with violence unless they evacuate the land.

On 2 April 2006 a group of Muslim settler from Joysen Karbari Para went to Saprue Karbari Para and started to build houses on a land owned by the indigenous Jumma villagers. Some indigenous Jumma women of Saprue Karbari Para resisted the Muslim settlers. Following the incident, the Muslim settlers attacked three Jumma villages on 3 April at around 8.30 am. The Muslim settlers at first started throwing brickbats at the houses of Jumma villagers. When Jumma women came out, the Muslim settlers asked them to leave the place forever. Jumma women protested against it. Then Muslim settlers tied two Jumma women with ropes and kidnapped them to Joysen Karbari Para. The Muslim settlers beat them up and raped them. The victims were: 1) Ms. Thuimra Ching Marma (16) d/o Mamong Marma and 2) Ms. Afing Krai Marma (20) d/o Chaihla Prue Marma. Hearing the scream of the victims, Venerable Sumana Mahathero, a Buddhist monk and Director of Maischari Bhoudha Shishughar Orphanage went to the spot to rescue the girls. He found two women senseless and naked. When he tried to rescue the girls, Muslim settlers beat him up and ran after him. He could narrowly escape. Exactly at that moment, a truck carrying a group of Muslim settlers from Nunchari cluster village equipped with sharp metal weapons reached there and joined others from Joysen Karbari Para. Muslim settlers numbering 100-150 and shouting “Allah Akbar” (God is Great) attacked Saprue Karbari Para, Nua Para and Chakra Para. They indiscriminately attacked the Jumma villagers. They robbed and broke down household goods. Jummas tried to flee away from their houses and villages.

Among the victims were:
  1. Mr. Tuku Mani Chakma (30), son of Asha Purna Chakma, Vill- Maischari
  2. Mr. Junal Marma (35), s/o Uhla Aung Marma, Vill- Maischari
  3. Mr. Sa Prue Marma (65), s/o Late Nishi Marma, Vill- Saprue Karbari Para
  4. Ms. Thuimra Ching Marma (16), d/o Late Mamong Marma, Vill- Saprue Karbari Para
  5. Ms. Myasu Marma (30), d/o Chaeihla Prue Marma, Vill- Saprue Karbari Para
  6. Ms. Afing Krai Marma (20), d/o Chaihla Prue Marma, Vill- Saprue Karbari Para
  7. Mr. Monhshu Marma (70) s/o late Baicha Marma, Vill- Saprue Karbari Para
  8. Mr. Mongsanai Marma (26) s/o Krai Aung Marma, Vill- Chakra Para
  9. Mr. Kongjai Marma (18) s/o Riprue Chai Marma, Vill- Chakra Para
  10. Mr. Mongneo Marma s/o Baicha Marma, Vill- Chakra Para
  11. Mr. Mong Pai Marma (50) s/o Kongja Aung Marma, Vill- Chakra Para

Among them, Tuku Mani Chakma precariously injured was transferred to Chittagong Medical College. He was severely chopped at head, shoulders and other part of his body.

24-26 August 2003

On 24 August 2003, a group of Jumma gunmen kidnapped a Bengali businessman Mr. Rupan Mahajan from Sindukchari of Mahalchari. The kidnappers demanded Taka 5 hundred thousand as ransom for his release. On 26 August, the relatives of Mr. Mahajan came to Babupara to meet some relatives of the gunmen to discuss his release. They demanded unconditional release of Mr. Mahajan. But the kidnappers refused and stuck to their demand. As a result, violence broke out between the relatives of the abductors and the abductee. A Jumma Mr. Binodh Bihari Khisa died in the violence. Then and there hundreds of Muslim Settlers backed by police and military joined the violence and set fire on more than 370 Jumma houses in Babupara, Lemuchari, and Thalipara areas under Mahalchari. Another Jumma Chikku Chakma (8 month) s/o Samiran Chakma was killed and more than 50 Jummas were injured in the violence. More than 1,000 Jummas were rendered homeless. Lemuchari Para Buddhist temple and Babupara Buddhist Temple were burnt down. Lord Buddha's images were demolished and taken away. The Bangladeshi Security Forces and the Muslim Settlers raped following Jumma women:

  1. Mrs. Mita Chakma (35) W/O Shasho Dhan Chakma
  2. Bonita Chakma (15) D/O Shasho Dhan Chakma
  3. Khuki Chakma (12) D/O Shasho Dhan Chakma of the village Pahartali
  4. Amiti Chakma (14) D/O Sudatta Chakma
  5. Maya Laxmi Chakma (20)
  6. Chitkala Chakma W/ O Kala Uda Chakma
  7. Badi Mila Chakma (30) W/O Bimal Chakma
  8. Gitanjali chakma D/O Nonabi Chakma
  9. Kala Sona Chakma W/O Battya Chakma of the village Durpajjyanala

23-25 June 2001

On 23 June 2001, unidentified gunmen killed Atar Ali, a truck driver at Ramghar. On 25 June the Muslim settlers brought out a procession to protest the killing of Atar Ali. They were shouting Islamic and anti Jumma slogans. At one stage the settlers started attack and set fire on houses of nearby Jumma villages. The Jumma villagers were also defending themselves. The Muslim settlers raided four Jumma villages namely Masterpara, Chowdhurypara, Jagannathpara and Dhaksin Garjantali at Ramghar. A total of 47 houses were burnt down and more then 29 were injured. At least 35 families fled across the border to Tripura, India. The settlers set fire on the houses of Thoimraching Marma, member Regional Council, Subodh Bikash Tripura, the president Ramghar press club and correspondent of Daily Ittefaque and Pailha Prue Chowdhury, a Marma community leader. The Deputy Commissioner of Khagrachari Mohammad Ashraful Makbul and Police Super Mohammad Mojammel Hossain were at Ramghar during the incident.

19 May 2001

A Jumma passerby was slightly pushed by an auto rickshaw while it was being parked near New Court Building in Rangarnati town. The Jumma passerby protested against it to the auto rickshaw driver. The driver became angry upon the Jumma passerby. At a stage, the Jumma passerby caught the collar of the auto rickshaw driver. Meanwhile another auto rickshaw driver came forward and he made compromise between the auto rickshaw driver and Jumma passerby. Then the auto rickshaw driver left the place. After his leaving, the Jumma passerby found a gold chain at the place and handed it over to the driver who helped them compromise. Then both the Jumma passerby and the driver left the place. But after few minutes, the driver who quarreled with the Jumma passerby came back and shouted that the Jumma had seized his gold chain just few minutes before. As a result, the Muslim auto rickshaw drivers became angry and then and there they made road blockade. They started to create communal tension in regard to this trivial matter. At this moment, the leaders of the Rangamati Auto rickshaw Owners Association (RAOA) were talking with the CHTRC Chairman Mr. Santu Larma at his residence. After receiving this news, the CHTRC Chairman asked them to go there. The leaders of RAOA rushed there and stopped road blockade and cornmunal tension.

14-18 May 2001

On 14 May 2001 Osman Gani, a VDP (Village Defense Party) commander from a post stationed near the Chamrachari Army Camp of Chhoto Merung, Dighinala was attacked and shot dead by a few unknown miscreants while he was on his way to his camp with the salary withdrawn for his men from Sonali Bank of Dighinala branch. On 15 May 2001 the VDPs and the Muslim settlers of the area brought out procession in Dighinala. They threatened the Jumma people shouting slogans like "hatyar badale hatya" (killing for killing). On 17 May 2001 a secret meeting was held between the military authority and the settlers' leaders in the Dighinala cantonment. On 18 May 2001 at 10.30 a.m. the settlers organized a meeting in front of the office of the Dighinala Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (UNO). At the end of meeting, they brought out a procession with anti Jumma slogans along 1 kilometer long road from the Dighinala UNO office to the Larma Square where Dighinala-Khagrachari and Dighinala-Merung roads meet each other. From there they went 5 kilometers south by trucks and attacked the Shanti Laxmipur, then Kalachand Mahajanpara 6 kilometers in the south and finally Hemabrata Karbaripara 9 kilometers in the same direction. A group of army led by Major Momin of the Dighinala cantonment and many police personnel led by Officer-in-Charge (OC) Sagir Ahmed Talukdar and Second Officer Mozammel of Dighinala police station were present with the settlers. The VDP personnel picked up a rifle from a police and fired several rounds of bullet aimlessly. Then the settlers started looting and setting fire on the houses of the Jumma people. The OC and Second Officer were watching the activities of the settlers as a passive onlooker. A group of young Jumma people approached the OC and the Second officer and requested them to stop the settlers from carrying out their activities. But, the OC did nothing except blowing air through his whistle. The settlers desperately tried to find out Hemabrata Karbari and other four Jummas for killing who were continuing land related cases against some settlers in court. The Jumma people of the surrounding areas went to resist the attack of the Muslim settlers. But the military stop them from going to rescue the Jummas.

16-17 May 2001

Soon after the death of auto rickshaw driver Abul Kamal, the Rangamati Autorickshaw Drivers Association (RADA) made campaign against the Jumma people at mid-night through out the Rangamati town. The uto rickshaw driver was shot dead by unidentified miscreants near the Bana Bihar area and died at Rangamarti general hospital. After the death of the driver, the Muslim settlers in collaboration with RADA accused the Jummas of murder and created communal tension through out Rangamati area. On the same day, Mohammad Abdul Jalil Majumdar filed a case (case no. 8 of section 302/34 BPC) against 4 Jumma youths at Rangamati police station. They held protest meeting on 17 May 2001 at 10.00 a.m. Before the meeting they blocked road at Kathaltali area and beat the Jumma passengers travelling by vehicles.

16 October 1999

Miss. Suralata Chakma (16) the daughter of Mr. Nilajoy Chakma of Jatna Karbari Para, Dighinala went for shopping at the local Babuchara Bazaar. At about 12:30 p.m., all of a sudden, Mohammad Mahbub, a soldier of the Bangladesh army in full military uniform from the local Babuchara Army Camp, embraced Miss. Suralata Chakma from behind, and began to molest her in the presence of his fully uniformed boss, Havilder (a non-commissioned commander) Mohammad Zahir. At the same time, he began to drag her towards his army camp where he and other members of the Bangladesh Security Forces would be able to gang rape her without any interference. Neither Havilder Mohammad Zahir nor any nearby Muslim settlers had tried to save her from the assault. On the other hand, they witnessed the molestation of the helpless Jumma girl by an army with applause and laughter! Although Miss Suralata Chakma was shattered and bewildered by the sudden attack, she bravely fought back tooth and nail to free herself from the grip of the military rapist. At the same time, she screamed for help. Having heard of her scream, some Jumma shoppers came to her rescue despite the inevitable risk of military reprisals. They forced the military rapist to release her. At that very moment, Havilder Mohammad Zahir and the nearby Muslim settlers took the side of the military rapist and began to kick and beat up not only the Jumma rescuers but also other Jumma shoppers in the market. Thus the communal riots began. Having been viciously attacked by the Muslim setters led by Havilder Mohammad Zahir and Mohammad Mahbub, the innocent Jumma shoppers had no other options but to defend themselves. They got together and managed to contain the Muslim attack for the time being. This status quo did not last long. Within minutes, under the order of Lt. Col. Mohammad Kader, a large contingent of soldiers and 150 armed Muslim settlers under the command of Major Mohammad Kalam, rushed to the scene. At first, the soldiers surrounded the bazaar and blocked all the exit routes. Then they simultaneously fired tear gas shells and bullets only on the Jummas, who were on the defensive, and not on the Muslim settlers, who were on the offensive, instead of rescuing Miss. Suralata Chakma and other Jummas from the Muslim attacks. In the face of the military firing, the unarmed Jummas had no other alternative but to flee the area. As soon as they began to disperse for their lives, Major Mohammad Kalam ordered the Muslim settlers armed with machetes, knives, iron bars and sticks to attack them. After massacring the helpless Jummas, the Bangladesh army and the Muslim settlers looted all the 35 Jumma shops in the bazaar. Then, they looted and burnt some 20 nearby Jumma homes. Thereafter, they attacked Benuban Buddhist Vihar, seriously wounded the innocent monks, desecrated the images of the Buddha, and ransacked the temple. As a result an unknown number of Jummas were killed, at least 75 seriously injured, and at least 45 men, women and children missing presumed dead. So far the bodies of the following Jummas have been recovered- 1) Dipon Jyoti Chakma (13), a student of Babuchara High School, 2) Sukomal Chakma (17), a student of Babuchara High School, died from bullet and knife wounds at Khagrachari Hospital on 17 October 1999. 3) Kina Ranjan Chakma (38), died from injuries at Chittagong Medical College Hospital on 17 October 1999 4) The body of an unknown Jumma boy was found in a paddy field near Babuchara Bazaar. Most of the missing dead bodies were buried near the Muslim cluster villages which are no go areas for the Jummas. At Benuban Buddhist Vihar two Buddhist monks 1) Ven. Uttamalankar Bhikshu and 2) Ven. Buddha Rakshit Bhikshu were seriously injured.

16 April 1999

Some Muslim settler activists of the ruling Awami League (AL) beat up a Muslim settler activist of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Rangamati town. Perhaps, it is noteworthy that some Jummas have joined the AL because the AL are secular and that the Jummas do not want to join the BNP as the BNP is pro-Islamist. Not surprisingly, the BNP have a grudge against the Jummas. At the same time, it is not easy for the BNP activists to make reprisal against the Muslim activists of the AL particularly in the CHT where the Bangladesh military treat all the Muslim settlers equally. So, the Jumma activists of the AL were the easy targets of the BNP attacks. The BNP activists planned to kill two birds with one stone by starting communal riots in the name of retaliating on the Jumma activists of the AL for the said attack on a Muslim activist of the BNP. Accordingly, the BNP activists armed with pistols, knives, machetes, iron bars and sticks attacked several Jumma activists of the AL, mercilessly beat them up, and looted their homes and shops in the presence of the Police. Then, they attacked the innocent Jummas in Rangamati town, severely beat them up, and ransacked their houses and shops. The tension of the communal riots continued for eight days. Yet the Muslim Police did not intervene in the attacks. During the mayhem, many Jummas were injured some of them seriously and they had to be treated at Rangamati Hospital.

4 April 1999

A Chakma girl, Miss Lila Dewan, the daughter of Mr. Jnana Ranjan Dewan of Bhaibon Chara, Baghaichari went along with her relatives to Baghaihat Bazar to have made some garments at the shop of a tailor Mohammad Nazrul. She went alone into the shop and her relatives waited for her outside the shop. While she was ordering for her garments, the tailor attacked her and began to molest her. She fought tooth and nail to defend herself. At the same time, she screamed loudly for help. Having heard of her distress call, her relatives rushed into the shop and rescued her from the clasp of the rapist. Some military men, Muslim settlers and Jummas also heard of the scream and rushed to the scene. But the army men did not arrest the rapist. Instead, they blamed the Jumma girl and her relatives for plotting the incident, abused them with obscene language, dragged her to a club in the said Bazar and took her to a room without allowing any of her relatives to accompany her. Fearing for her safety and modesty at the hands of the army personnel, her relatives and other Jumma shoppers demanded the immediate release of her. The imperious amy men turned down outright the just demand of the Jummas on the one hand. On the other hand, the soldiers of Baghaihat Army Camp and the local Muslim settlers under the command of a Captain attacked the unarmed Jummas with rifle butts and sticks. They hit the innocent Jummas so hard that they broke not only the limbs and skulls of many Jummas but also rifle butts and sticks while beating up the Jumma people. Despite such a savage attack by the army and the Muslim settlers, the Jummas fought back in self defence with bricks, wooden and bamboo poles. Then, the army opened fire on the Jummas, dispersed them and arrested many of them. As a result of the attack, at least 46 Jummas were
seriously injured. About 8 Jummas were missing. Most probably, those 8 Jummas were murdered by the Bangladesh army and the Muslim settlers. The Jumma girl was gang raped by the Bangladesh army personnel.

The following Jummas were missing assumed murdered:

  1. Mr. Subal Kista Chakma,
  2. Mr. Jiding Karbari,
  3. Mr. Makkapeda Chakma,
  4. Mr. Chiring Chakma,
  5. Mr. Mekcha Chakma,
  6. Mr. Nagendra Chakma,
  7. Mr. Kistamoy Chakma,
  8. Mr. Pobi Chandra Chakma.

The following injured Jumma victims were treated at Khagrachari Hospital:

  1. Mr. Purna Mohan Chakma (40),
  2. Mr. Sunil Kanti Chakma (20),
  3. Mr. Malendra Chakma (56),
  4. Mr. Buddha Mangal Chakma (35),
  5. Mr. Alo Chakma (28),
  6. Mr. Ajit Chakma (55),
  7. Mr. Bijoy Kanti Chakma (40),
  8. Mr. Shanti Kusum Chakma (47),
  9. Mr. Deba Chandra Chakma (40),
  10. Mr. Jnanamoy Chakma (22),
  11. Mr. Rabi Mohan Chakma (30),
  12. Mr. Anadi Chakma (53),
  13. Mr. Surjya Kiran Chakma (20),
  14. Mr. Rabichan Chakma (22),
  15. Mr. Shantimoy Chakma, a member of the local council,
  16. Mr. Murati Chakma,
  17. Mr. Prabhat Chandra Chakma,
  18. Mr. Kalabo Chakma,
  19. Mr. Bangalya Chakma,
  20. Mr. Rangkamal Chakma,
  21. Mr. Shanti Priya Chakma,
  22. Mr. Gapdia Chakma,
  23. Mr. Shashi Ranjan Tripura,
  24. Mr. Kapinath Tripura,
  25. Miss Mila Chakma,
  26. Mr. Hekma Chakma,
  27. Mr. Bakul Kanti Chakma,
  28. Mr. Subal Kista Chakma,
  29. Mr. Engrej Chakma,
  30. Mr. Chiranjib Chakma,
  31. Mr. Priya Lal Chakma,
  32. Mr. Shantimoy Chakma,
  33. Mr. Arun Jyoti Chakma,
  34. Mr. Ban Bihari Chakma,
  35. Mr. Sumati Lal Chakma,
  36. Mr. Prem Nath Chakma,
  37. Mr. Smritimoy Chakma,
  38. Mr. Kalpa Jyoti Chakma,
  39. Mr. Santu Chakma,
  40. Mr. Jyoti Lal Chakma,
  41. Mr. Kandara Chakma,
  42. Mr. Pulin Bikash Chakma,
  43. Mr. Ripan Chakma,
  44. Mrs. Bijoy Mala Chakma,
  45. Mr. Tatu Chakma,
  46. Mr. Prafulla Chandra Chakma.

3 April 1999

Four Chakma youths were travelling by a passenger ferry from Barkal to Rangamati town. The Muslim fare collector of the ferry demanded unreasonably high fare from them although he took normal fare from the Muslim settler passengers. Naturally, the Jumma youths offered the fare collector normal fare and politely asked him why they were being discriminated against. In reply, he refused to accept normal fare from them, abused them with filthy languages, and vowed to take full revenge against them at Rangamati. As soon as the ferry arrived at the pier of Rangamati, the fare collector incited the Muslim settlers who were waiting for him at the pier, to catch and beat up the four Jumma youths by falsely complaining that those four Jumma youths had robbed him of his purse. Then the Muslim settlers caught the four Jumma youths and beat them up mercilessly till they were seriously injured and bleeding profusely in the presence of the Bangladesh army, who neither rescued the Jumma youths nor prevented the Muslim settlers from attacking the four innocent Jumma victims. Thereafter, the Muslim settlers collected four big knives from the nearby market and handed over the four Jumma youths together with the four big knives to the Police under the fabricated charge that the Jumma youths had robbed the fare collector of his purse at knife point. The Police arrested and sent the four Jumma youths to Rangamati Prison without making any enquiry into the false and concocted allegation. However, the prison authorities hospitalised the four Jumma boys as they were seriously injured.

31 March 1999

A Muslim settler youth arrogated himself to abuse a Jumma youth with extremely insulting languages at Champak Nagar in Rangamati town with a view to initiating communal riots. The Jumma youth protested at the abusive words of the settler youth and asked the latter to apologise to him for the latter's shameful behaviour. But the latter ignored his gentle protest and continued to abuse him more loudly than before. So this altercation automatically led to a quarrel. The Muslim settlers armed with knives, iron bars and sticks and led by Mohammad Mohsin, a local leader of the Awami League and a notorious thug, took the side of the haughty Muslim settler youth, and attacked not only the Jumma youth but also the Jummas of Champak Nagar in the presence of the Police. They looted and destroyed Jumma shops and homes, savagely beat up Jumma men, women and children, and injured many Jummas some of them seriously. Needless to say, the Police did not take any actions against the rioters.

27 March 1999

An overbearing Muslim shopkeeper pushed a few Jumma youths with his elbows. Naturally, the latter were offended and asked the former to apologise for his provocative behaviour. But instead of apologising for his abominable acts, the haughty Muslim shopkeeper abused the Jumma youths with filthy and racial languages indicating that he wanted to pick up a quarrel with the Jummas to start communal riot. So these Jummas, who are not prepared to put up with such racial humiliation, mildly manhandled him just to teach him a lession. Then, the Muslim shopkeeper went to Mohammad Zahedul Alam, a local leader of the Awami League and also a bogyman of the Bangladesh Army, who had already armed the Muslim settlers with pistols, knives, iron bar and sticks. Almost immediately the armed gang led by Mohammad Zahedul Alam marched towards Kalyanpur, the Jumma neighbourhood of Khagrachari town. On the way, the Muslim rioters attacked innocent Jumma pedestrians and severely beat them up. They managed to catch one Jumma youth, who could not flee because of his injuries, and handed him over to the Police on a totally fabricated allegation of robbing a Muslim shopkeeper of his purse. The Police sent the injured Jumma youth to Khagrachari Jail without investigation or trial. Before entering Kalyanpur, Mohammad Alam ordered his gang to cut off the telephone line for the home of Mr. Hangsadhwaj Chakma, the Convenor of the Coordination Committee between the Bangladesh Government Committee on the CHT Affairs and the JSS, in order to prevent Mr. H. Chakma and other Jummas of Kalyanpur from informing the Police and District Authorities of the attack. He also incited the Muslim rioters by shouting racial and Islamic slogans such as - "We will drink the blood of the Jumma Kafirs (infidels)", "We will annihilate the Jumma race", "We will Islamise the CHT", "Allahu Akbar", "Naraye Takdir" and so on - and then commanded them to attack the Jummas of Kalyanpur. Many Jumma families heard of the loud slogans of the advancing Muslim settlers and fled to safer areas. As usual, the Muslim settlers ransacked the Jumma homes and destroyed them. In the mean time, the Jummas tried to alert the Police and higher authorities by using the telephone of Mr. H. Chakma but to their great disappointment they found that his telephone did not work. Having not been able to call the Police, the Jummas had no other alternative but to fight back with rock and stones and wooden and bamboo poles. When the Muslim raiders were almost overwhelmed by the Jummas, the Bangladesh army sided with their coreligionists, fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells on the Jummas to disperse them and rescued the Muslim settlers. The following Jumma victims were among those whose houses were looted and destroyed i) Mrs. Shreela Talukdar, the Head Teacher of Bandarban Government High School; ii) Mr. Tridip Chakma, an employee of the Agricultural Bank; iii) Mr. Animoy Khisa, a local employee; iv) Mr. Tapan Roy; and so forth.

18 February 1999

A Hindu festival, Shiva Mela, was taking place at Jurmarang of Bhaibon Chara, Khagrachari District. As usual, hundreds of Jummas went there to observe the festival. But the notorious Bangladesh Army conspired with the Muslim settlers to ruin the kafir's (infidel's) festival by starting communal riots. Accordingly, they sent many Muslim settlers, armed with knives, iron bars and sticks to the festival and instructed a Muslim taxi driver how to pick up a quarrel with the Jummas. As per the instructions of the Bangladesh Army, the taxi driver demanded excessive amount of fare of some unwary Jumma passengers who naturally refused to pay more than the normal fare. Then the taxi driver angrily abused the Jumma passengers with very foul and offensive languages and thus precipitated the quarrel as planned. As soon as the quarrel began, the armed Muslim settlers attacked not only the Jumma passengers but also other innocent Jummas throughout the festival and even the Hindu Temple, under the very nose of the Bangladesh Army. They robbed the Jummas of their money and valuable goods, savagely beat up and knifed them, and ransacked and desecrated the Hindu Temple. Since the Bangladesh Army watched the attack as silent spectators, the Jummas had no other option but to resist the attack in self defence with brick bats, bamboo and wooden poles, wooden planks and whatever they could find at hand. Very soon they outnumbered and overwhelmed the Muslim settlers. No sooner the Muslim settlers began to retreat than the Bangladesh Army took the side of their coreligionists, fired on the Jummas,and dispersed them. Then, they arrested 15 Jummas who were too seriously injured to flee. Scores of Jummas were also wounded but they managed anyhow to escape from being arrested. All the 15 arrested Jummas underwent treatment in Khagrachari Hospital and they were i) Siprue Chai Marma (13), ii) Kyaw Jai Marma (15), iii) Chai Hla Prue Marma (15), iv) Pinku Moni Chakma (15), xii) Mr. Sahadev Chakma (20), xiii) Mr. Shiva Ranjan Tripura (25), xiv) Mr. Adjit Chakma (35), and xv) Mr. Nihar Priya Chakma(20).

3 July 1998

At about 10 p.m, the Muslim settlers were openly gambling, which was illegal. So, a group of Jumma youths politely asked them to stop gambling in the area. In response, the Muslim settlers angrily abused the Jumma youths and attacked them. At the same time, they falsely propagated that the Jummas had attacked the Muslims! Having heard of this false news, hundreds of Muslim settlers, armed with knives, iron bars and sticks, came to aid the Muslim settlers and attacked any Jumma passers by. While chasing the Jummas in darkness, they even killed a Muslim beggar, Kutturi Begum (39), by knocking her down by mistaking her for a Jumma! But they claimed promptly that the Jummas had killed her! Having been incited by such a false propaganda, the Muslim settlers attacked Moitri Vihar, a Buddhist Temple, destroyed the images of Lord Buddha, books, furniture and so forth, and injured the monks of the Vihar. They also attacked the Jumma houses, attempted to set them on fire and blocked the roads to prevent the Fire Service from going into the area. As usual, the Police did not take notice of the Muslim rioters. On the following day, the Muslim rioters forced the Jumma passengers to get down from buses in front of Kakali cinema hall and attacked them with knives, iron bars and sticks injuring many of them seriously. They also attacked the Jummas in Kathaltali area of Rangamati in the evening injuring many more. Some of the wounded Jummas managed to go to Rangamati Hospital for treatment despite the prevailing tense situation. Among them were: i) Rev. Jnanananda Bhikshu (32), a Monk of Moitri Vihar in Rangamati; ii) Mr. Ujjal Chakma (17), a devotee of Moitri Vihar in Rangamati iii) Mrs. Pita Chakma (25), the wife of Mr. Tapan Chakma iv) Mrs. Renuka Chakma (17), the wife of Mr. Niladhwaj Chakma of Kathaltali, v) Mr. Kiran Muni Chakma (28), a JSS member vi) Mr. Dayal Chandra Chakma (35) and so on. Needless to say, the Police did not prevent the Muslim settlers from conducting the 2 day long communal riots nor did they take any action against them.

20 June 1998

Mohammad Zakir Hossain, a timber businessman of Manikchari, Rangamati was killed in a dispute involving financial transactions. Instead of taking legal actions against the culprits, the Bangladesh Army incited the Muslim settlers to start communal riot against the innocent Jummas. As planned by the army, the Muslim settlers, armed with machetes, knives, iron bars and sticks, attacked the Jummas, beat them up and injured many of them seriously. For instance, Mr. Shashi Kumar Chakma (58) was seriously injured. But he managed to take shelter at the farm house of Mr. Anujh Dewan and receive first aid. On the following day, he was sent to Rangamati Sadar Hospital. Similarly two injured Jumma women and two injured Jumma men also managed to take refuge at Sapchari Buddhist Temple and receive first aid. What happened to other Jumma victims is not known as the Jummas could not go to the area for a week or so to collect information for fear of their safety at the hands of the riotous Muslim settlers.

6-9 April 1998

On 6 April 1998 two Muslim children were drowned while swimming in the Mayuni river. The Police and the Medical Officer of Dighinala duly certified that the children died of natural cause and neither by violence nor from wouhds. But the Bangladesh Army used this incident to initiate communal riot. Under their instructions, the Muslim settlers blamed the Jummas of Boalkhali, Dighinala for the death of the children and on 7 April 1998, they demonstrated at Boalkhali, Dighinala area to protest against the killing of their children, shouted Islamic and anti Jumma slogans, assaulted the Jumma trvellers on Dighinala Boalkhali road and robbed them of all valuable things. To protest at this unprovoked attack on the innocent Jumma pedestrians by the Muslim settlers, the Jumma People organised a meeting at Dighinala on 9 April 1998 and blamed the Bangladesh Army for the attack and demanded the trial and punishment of the Muslim settlers. While they were returning home after the meeting was over, the Muslim settlers attacked them at Shantipur, Pablakhali, Dighinala in the presence of the Bangladesh Army, who did not intervene in the attack. Fortunately, the nearby Jumma villagers came to their rescue and outnumbered the Muslim settlers. When the Muslim settlers were on the verge of defeat, the Bangladesh Army personnel intervened in the fight in favour of their coreligionists, dispersed the Jummas and rescued the Muslim settlers. Needless to say, several Jummas and some Muslim settlers were seriously injured during the fight. In reprisal for the above defeat, the Bangladesh Army ordered the Muslim settlers of Kabakhali area to attack the Jummas of Joy Kumar Karbari Para, Kabakhali, Dighinala. Accordingly, the Muslim settlers raided the said Jumma village and set fire to the houses of i) Mrs. Nigira Bala Chakma and ii) Mr. Surjya Mohan Chakma. As a result, tension mounted in the area and further Muslim attacks seemed imminent. In order to see the situation for themselves, the Home Minister of Bangladesh Mohammad Rafiqul Islam and Mohammad Abul Hasnat Abdullah visited Dighinala on 13 April 1998, and addressed a public meeting. In the meeting, Mohammad Islam declared Taka 50,000 to each Muslim family, whose members were alleged to had died or kidnapped or injured, but nothing for the Jumma victims.

18 March 1998

Mr. Shishir Moni Chakma, an undergraduate student of Rangamati College, requested two Muslim students i) Mohammad Sawar and ii) Mohammad Shimul, not to smoke in the Student Common Room where smoking is prohibited. Instead of stopping smoking cigarettes, the Muslim students became very angry with Mr. Chakma, who would not tolerate the audacity shown by him. Then they abused him with obscene languages and assaulted him. Naturally, the Jumma students in the Common Room supported the ban on smoking and came to the rescue of Mr. Chakma. Thus, a clash between the Muslim students and the Jumma students broke out. Having been defeated, the Muslim students fled to the nearby Muslim settlers' village, then returned with a large group of Muslim settlers armed with lethal weapons and shouting anti Jumma and Islamic slogans. Behind them came the Muslim dominated Police, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells on the Jumma students to disperse them. When the wounded and disabled Jumma students began to disperse, then the Police ordered the Muslim settlers and students to attack them. In compliance with the Police instructions, the rioters mercilessly beat the wounded and disabled Jumma students, attacked those who could not manage to flee from the area and chased even those who managed to get out of the College premises. For instance, the rioters attacked the Jumma students even at Reserve Bazar injuring i) Mr. Dipak Chakma, ii) Mr. Joyjit Tripura, and others under the very nose of the Police. To cover up these racially motivated communal riots, the state controlled print and electronic media of Bangladesh put the blame squarely on the Jumma students.

16 March 1998

The Jumma students of Rangamati Government College took out a peaceful procession to protest at the film, 'Emu Babul' shown on the Bangladesh Television to inspire the Muslims to marry Jumma girls and convert them to Islam as part of the state organized Islamization of the CHT Scheme. They submitted a memorandum, addressed to the Minister for Information and Publicity, to the Deputy Commissioner of Rangamati District for not showing the said insulting film on the screen. When they returned to the college after submitting the memorandum, the Muslim students abused them with foul words and attacked them with knives, iron bars and sticks. As expected, the Police led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police helped the attackers by remaining absolutely passive. As a result, five Jumma students were injured with two of them seriously. Mr. Kunal Khisa's fingers were slashed with knives. While trying to escape from the hands of the attackers, Mr. Shishu Chakma had to jump from the second floor and thus he sustained serious injuries. The tension continued for 3 days.

12 April 1997

The Bangladesh military in league with the Muslim settlers hatched a plot to attack the Jummas at Maischari Bazaar on the eve of the Biju (New Year) festival when the Jummas went for shopping in large numbers. Under the instructions of Major Javed, Captain Jalal and Subedar Aminul of Maischari Army Camp, some Muslim settlers went to Maischari Bazaar to steal purses from the pockets of the Jumma shoppers including the Jumma refugee returnees. At the same time, the Bangladesh army at all checkposts had seized the sticks and knives of the Jummas, if any, before allowing them to enter the Bazaar. But they allowed the Muslim settlers to carry machetes, knives, spears, sickles, iron bars and sticks and even provided some of them with acid bottles. Simultaneously, hundreds of army personnel were deployed in and around Maischari Bazaar. When the bazaar became crowded, the pickpocketers set to work to provoke the Jumma shoppers to beat them up. A Jumma shopper unaware of the military plot caught a pickpocketer redhanded and hit him a few times with his bare hands on the spur of the moment. It is common in Bangladesh to beat the petty criminals like pickpockets and nobody bothers to take them to the Police or Court. But as per the military plan, the local Muslim settlers took the side of the culprit and found an excuse to start the anti Jumma communal riots. Then, the Bangladesh army cordoned off the bazaar and directed the Muslim settlers, armed with machetes, knives, spears, sticks and so on, to attack the totally unarmed Jumma men, women and children. As a result, at least fifty Jummas were seriously injured and hospitalised. The Muslim settlers also abducted Jumma men and women, took them to the local Muslim settlements, raped, tortured and murdered them and buried their bodies in secret places. The following Jummas were among the victims:

Those victims who were abducted and murdered

  1. Miss Putuli Chakma, the daughter of Mr. Bharat Kumar Chakma of Gamaridhala, Mahalchari.
  2. Miss Ripana Chakma, the daughter of Mr. Shanti Chandra Chakma of Itchari, Mahalchari.
  3. Mr. Anil Chandra Chakma, the son of Mr. Balan Chandra Chakma of Itchari, Mahalchari.
  4. Mr. Sneha Kumar Chakma, the son of Mr. Balan Chandra Chakma of Ultachari, Mahalchari.

Those victims who were seriously injured and hospitalised

  1. Mr. Kusum Shankar Chakma (55), the son of Mr. Chikyaram Chakma of Ultachari, Mahalchari Thana. He and his family were repatriated from Lebachara Refugee Camp in the Indian State of Tripura in 1994. This evidence shows that the return of the Jumma refugees is not safe at all.
  2. Mrs. Sujaobai Marma (20), the wife of Mr. Labrechai Marma of Bijitala, Mahalchari.
  3. Mrs. Sucharita Chakma (35), the wife of Mr. Bibhuti Kumar Chakma of Pagajyachari, Mahalchari.
  4. Miss Dipani Chakma (12), the daughter of Mr. Kanti Chandra Chakma of Itchari, Mahalchari.
  5. Mrs. Bimala Devi Chakma (40). the wife of Mr. Samini Kumar Chakma of Gamaridhala, Mahalchari.
  6. Mr. Prabir Kumar Dewan (50), the son of Mr. Kripa Mahan Dewan, of Gamaridhala, Mahalchari.
  7. Mr. Chandra Mohan Tripura, the son of Mr. Bhuban Mahan Tripura of Bijitala, Mahalchari.
  8. Mr. Sijeo Marma (65), the son of the late Pipru Roaza, of Nunchari, Mahalchari.

Needless to say, none of the Muslim settlers was injured during the communal riot as the Jumma shoppers were totally unarmed. Yet the Bangladesh army propagated that several Muslim settlers were also injured. This baseless propaganda was nothing but an attempt to cover up the premeditated communal riot at Maischari Bazaar. The Bangladesh government did not take any action against the Bangladesh army and Muslim settlers despite Jummas demanded punishment for the culprits.

21 November 1995

The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination was taking place at Abdur Rashid Sarkar High School at Korolyachari village in Longadu. During the examination, one Jumma student and one Muslim student sought permission to go to the toilet from the attending teacher Mohammad Motaleb. Then Mohammad Motaleb told them that he could not allow both to go out at the same time. So, he permitted the Muslim student to go to the toilet first. After the return of the Muslim student from the toilet, the Jumma student sought permission again but the teacher refused to let him go to the toilet. Then the Jumma student said that he could not check the pressure of the nature's call anymore and that he needed to go to the toilet right away. Mohammad Motaleb did not tolerate the frank pleading of the Jumma student and began to beat him mercilessly for daring to speak out his genuine complaint instead of complying with the former's order. Naturally, all the Jumma students protested at the great injustice and discrimination committed by their arrogant Muslim teacher. The Jumma Students' vehement nrotest made Mohammad Motaleb angrier. So, he decided to punish all the Jumma students. He left the examination hall, locked the door and rushed towards Korolyachari Muslim cluster village. After a while, Mohammad Motaleb returned to the school with a big group of Muslim settlers armed with knives, machetes, spears, iron bars and big sticks and shouting Islamic and anti-Jumma slogans. No sooner he and the Muslim settlers had attacked the examination hall, the Jumma students broke open the door and windows, jumped out of the hall and fled. Unfortunately, two Jumma students could not manage to flee in time and were attacked by Mohammad Motaleb and Muslim settlers who kicked and beat them and wounded them with sharp weapons. Later, the injured Jumma students were taken to Al-Rabeta Hospital at Longadu. But their injuries were so serious that they had to be transferred to the Hospital in Rangamati. On the night of 21 November 1995, Mohammad Motaleb and the Muslim settlers set the school ablaze and then blamed the Jumma people for destroying the school with a view to covering up their heinous crime committed against the innocent and helpless Jumma students. The wounded Jumma students were:

  1. Mr. Mihir Kiran Chakma (22)
  2. Mr. Birendra Chakma (21).

29 October 1995

Acting on the orders of Lt. Col. Jakir Hasan, the commander of the Mahalchari Military Zone, the local Muslim leader Mohammad Abdul Matin led hundreds of Muslim settlers of Changrachari cluster village of Mahalchari to attack the nearby Jumma village at Changrachari Mouza. The Muslim settlers were armed with machetes, knives and spears. They shouted Islamic slogans, hacked and beat the Jumma villagers, looted all valuable goods, destroyed household articles and houses, burned down houses and stole fruit and vegetable from the gardens. However, many villagers were able to flee their homes just before the attack and thus narrowly escaped the onslaught. Some of the victims were:

  1. Mr. Hla Aungsu Chowdhury (45), the son of Mr. Labra Chai Chowdhury, was severely beaten and hacked on his right arm and left leg causing very serious injuries;
  2. Mr. Aung Jai Marma (60), a teacher of the local Primary School had his property looted, household goods broken into pieces, and bamboos from his garden stolen;
  3. Mr. Pal U Marma (55), the son of Mr. Kyaw Jari Marma, had his house plundered and then torched;
  4. Mr. Mome Marma (50), an ex-member of the local Union Council had his property looted and household things and the home broken into pieces;
  5. Mr. Ripchu Marma (58), the son of Mr. Atho Marma, had his home ransacked and bamboos from his garden stolen.


  1. The life is not ours: the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commiission
  2. The Charge of Genocide: Organizing Committee of the CHT Campaign, 1986
  3. Unlawful Killings and Torture in the CHT: Amnesty International, 1986
  4. The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Militarisation, Oppression and Hill Tribes, 1984
  5. Jana Samhati Samiti Report