Robberies, Extortions and Frauds
|The Bangladeshi security forces and the Muslim settlers
often commit robbery and extortion in the CHT. The following information
is just the tip of the iceberg of the robberies and extortions committed
in the CHT.
Sagarbacha Chakma's wife in Baro Harikaba village went to harvest rice in their land. But to her utter surprise and dismay, she found that some Muslim settlers from Bhaibone Chara had been harvesting rice from her field.
She made a strong protest and chased them away wielding a machete in her hand. A Muslim settler was slightly injured when she hit him with the machete. Thereafter, a group of 15-20 Muslim settlers led by Nupur Ali came back to mount a reprisal attack on the indigenous Buddhist people. Apparently, the retreating settlers misreported the incident to their fellow settlers and provoked them against the indigenous Buddhists. When the settlers reached a village shop, they found a large number of indigenous Buddhists already assembled there, a common sight in almost every village shop in the CHT. Unaware of the incident, the indigenous Buddhists asked the settlers what they had been up to. The truth came out when they talked to each other and a mutual settlement was reached.
Two elderly indigenous men in their sixties, Leipeda Chakma and Gyana Ranjan Chakma were ferrying goods from Karengatoli bazaar to their shops at Gangaram Mukh. When they reached Baghaihat, a settler named Nazimuddin seized the goods, apparently on orders of the Bangladesh army. As the indigenous men protested at the illegal seizure, Nazimuddin asked them to contact the zone commander Lt. Col. Sajid Imtiaz. Lt. Col. Sajid Imtiaz was the mastermind behind the 20 April'08 attack on indigenous villages in Sajek.
2 January 2003
Nayeb Subedar Mohammed Hafiz of 14 EBR and his personnel tortured the Jummas of Tarenge Para and Dhanpada village of Kaptai Upazilla, Rangamati
District while the Jumma villagers were going to Bilaichari Bazaar by a trawler.
The former tortured the latter without warrants and evidence. Then the Bangladesh
Army men robbed them of their all money totalling over Taka 10,000. During
the mass torture the following Jummas were seriously injured
Needless to say, all those small scale Jumma businessmen had to close down their businesses due to the loss of their only meagre capitals in the said robbery committed by the Bangladesh Army.
15 June 2002
A group of the Bangladesh Army personnel from Karalyachari camp in collatroration with the local Muslim settlers attacked the Jumma villagers, who were on their way to Mainimukh Bazaar (near Dighinala town in Khagrachari District) to sell their agricultural produce including tons of bananas. The army and the settlers robbed them of their bananas and other goods. Then the robbed Jummas approached the local Member of the Union Council for help. On June 17 2002, the local Member took them to the Bangladesh Army camp and asked the Commander to return all the bananas and other goods to the Jumma farmers and to take all necessary actions against all the army and settlers immediately. In response, the Commander became very angry, abused the Member and the Jumma farmers with foul languages, intimidated them with severe punishments for their audacity to complain against the Bangladesh Army and pushed them out of the camp.
4 November 1995
A group of Muslim settlers and a number of VDP men from Islampur cluster village in Naniachar attacked four Jumma families with machetes, spears and knives at Gulsachari Bhuiadam in Baradam Mouza, seriously injured three Jummas and looted all valuable belongings. The Bangladeshi authorities did not taken any action against perpetrators. Among the victims were:
14 July 1985
A combined force of the Bangladesh army (7th Bengal) from Tintilla and the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (14th Battalion) carried out an operation at Ugal Chari Mukh village, attacked the house of Mr. Jatindra Chakma, 32, ransacked his house and plundered gold ornaments worth Taka 12,000.
13 October 1985
Subedar Kobbat of the Bangladesh Rifles (24th Battalion) and his troops raided Korolya Chari village of Khagrachari district. They arrested Mr. Olim Bihari Chakma (40), and Mr. Lal Bihari Chakma (22) a college student; took them to their base at Dhuduk Chara. The members of the Bangladesh Rifles tortured them severely. Mr. Olim Bihari Chakma and Mr. Lal Bihari Chakma were released only after payment of Taka 5,000 and 4,000 respectively to Subedar Kobbat.
5 December 1985
A group of 203 soldiers of the Bangladesh Army (41 Bengal) attacked the house of Mr. Biswa Muni Karbari, 45, of Sila Chari and forced him to give them 9 fowls, 60 kilos of rice and Taka 1,400. The Bangladesh Army plunderers also compelled Mr. Motaram Tripura of the same village to pay them Taka 4,500.