Dateline 29 May last. A 17-year old teenage Chakma girl entered in a computer center owned by Bengali youth for doing some urgent tasks. This incident irked the members of Santu Larma-backed Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP). The PCP armed cadres dragged out the girl from the shop and then harassed her in broad daylight. The unruly youths then abducted the victim to the nearby deep forest where they blindfolded her, stripped her and finally abused her which was also recorded through mobile-phone camera. Locals said, the girl might have raped though in the prosecution record the incident was not mentioned. In this way, the tribal armed groups besides terrifying people are decaying social harmony in CHT.
Despite being citizens of same land, the Bengali nationals are seemed untouchable to the tribal thugs. If any tribal get engaged in emotional relation with Bengali, the separatist armed miscreants award them harsh punishment, including abduction, gang rape, sexual harassment, acid-throwing, and even killing. If any tribal girl get married Bengali youth, the militants of Jana Sanghati Samiti (JSS) and United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) gang-raped her as a punishment. Though ordinary tribal people oppose the militant activities and their unrestrained brutalities, they are helpless.
The aforementioned incident was committed in Bilaichari Upazila of Rangamati recently. The victim passed Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination this year. While she entered Ma Computer Center owned by Bengali youth Shihab for applying for college admission through the internet, Sunitimoy Chakma with 15-20 cohorts besieged her in the shop and dragged her onto Upazila Health Complex. They beat her up accusing that she had a love affair with Shihab. Then she was abducted to the nearby deep forest where they blindfolded her, stripped her, and abused her. They also warned her dire consequence if she exposes the incident to anybody. Witnesses testified that the girl was made a handball-like toy by the PCP militants.
Being released, the belittled and tortured girl along with her mother went to Gatkachari Army Camp for seeking shelter. Military personnel at the camp forwarded the victim and her mother to the local police station where the victim’s family filed a case accusing PCP leader Sunitimoy Chakma and 15 others unnamed under the Women and Children Repression Act. Officer-in-charge of Bilaichari Police Station Monjurul Alam Molla confirmed the case number as 1/5/16. Police arrested Sunitimoy, 30, on June 14 which angered JSS. Instead of taking disciplinary action against the accused PCP leader Sunitimoy, the JSS in protest of the arrest of the accused leader called a strike on June 15-16 across the Upazila.
Meanwhile, the OC Monjurul said they are hunting the other accused people of the case. About the allegation, Shihab told Parbattanews that he had no emotional bondage with the girl and he has wife and child. He said many Chakma girls and boys crowd at his shop for taking the service. In the mean time, Shihab was forced to close the shop on June 14 and as the place owner Susil Chakma canceled the agreement with him.
Earlier, in February 2015, Umaching Marma, 18, and her family was attacked by the criminals and forced to pay hefty ransom. The family members were brutally beaten up by the group. The most brutal incident happened in April last year when Deepa Tripura, 18, fleeing Khagrachari for marrying a Muslim youth Abdul Hannan, son of Ahmad Kobir of Satkania upazila of Chittagong. But he unfortunates were forcefully got down from the bus and Deepa was gang-raped several times by the local PCP leaders. In that time the PCP rapists recorded video of the entire the incident of sexual abuse. Police later arrested PCP leader Sajib Tripura, 22, who admitted his involvement with the heinous crime. Thus, many tribal girls, including Sonabi Chakma of Matiranga, Rina Tripura of Kutubchari of Rangamati, Monika Tripura of Ramgard, have become victims of abduction, gang-rape, sexual harassment and killing.
Aung Chaki Karbari, vice president of the upazila unit Awami League and president of Karbari Association at Kironchari, told there is no legal prohibitory order of marring Bengali youth in tribal’s social code. In such case, Karbari Association fines Tk 20,000 and then the couple can live together. Prohar Kanti Chakma, science and technology affair secretary of ruling Awami League’s Bilaichari unit, said the militant groups recently shut a cosmetic shop owned by a former Chhatra League leader Narayan as tribal girls shopping there. Local people claimed that in this way the militant groups in the three districts are destroying social fabrics.
The tribal and Bengali people protest the ravage bring by the JSS and UPDF militants in the areas. On June 22, Parbatya Bengali Chatra Oikya Parishad arranged a human chain demanding immediate arrest and trial of the miscreants. The speakers at the human-chain accused JSS and PCP of killing, kidnapping, sexual assaulting, and for sneering racial campaign. We repeatedly tried to contact Santu Larma and JSS spokesman Sajib Chakma for their opinion about the allegation against JSS over their phone but they remained unavailable for comments.