PCCP demands amendment of conflicting Clauses in CHT Peace Accord
Parbatya Chattogram Chhatra Parishad (PCCP), literally meaning Chittagong Hill Tracts Students Council, has called for amending the conflicting and discriminatory clauses in the Chattogram Peace Accord, as well as a re-evaluation of the accord.
They made the call at a human chain organised by the PCCP Rangamti in front of the Banarupa CNG Station in the district town, marking the 26th anniversary of the accord on Friday.
The PCCP leaders also demanded that timber trader Shafiqul Islam Russel, who was abducted in Khagrachari on 9 November be rescued, illegal arms be recovered, army camps be re-established and police be modernised in the hill tracts.
They stated that the full implementation of the accord necessitates the amendment of 26 national laws and 12 specific laws related to the Chattogram Hill Tracts, totaling 38 laws.
They highlighted that the government, if receptive, could consider specific proposals from the PCCP for establishing permanent peace and ensuring the rights of all communities in the hill tracts.
The leaders further mentioned that prior to the implementation of the peace accord, it was envisioned to bring peace to the hills. However, certain clauses in the accord are in conflict with the constitution of Bangladesh and many existing laws, and those are also discriminatory and communal in nature. Various clauses of the peace accord have been legally challenged and brought before the High Court, which has deemed many of these clauses unconstitutional and void. Given this situation, there should be a dialogue with the inhabitants of the hill tracts to discuss the implementation of the accord.
The speakers questioned the administration’s inability to rescue timber trader Russel, who had been abducted by tribal terrorists in Khagrachari since 9 November. This situation indicates that everyone is vulnerable to the armed terrorist organizations in the tribal areas of the hill
tracts, hindering free business and movement. Therefore, to restore peace and harmony in the hills, it is imperative to immediately recover illegal arms from the hiill tracts, re-establish army camps, and modernise the police force to permanently eradicate terrorist groups in the region.
They also addressed recent incidents, such as the shooting at timber trucks near Rangamati town, the extortion of business persons in the Reserve Bazaar area, the looting of cargo trucks in the Agricultural Diploma area, the detentions of drivers and helpers, and the organizing of armed meetings in the Asambasti area by tribal armed groups, including Santu Larma, in violations of the terms of the peace accord.
The speakers noted that many clauses of the peace accord with JSS, comprising 4 parts and 72 clauses, directly conflict with the Constitution of Bangladesh. These conflicting clauses have failed to establish peace in the hills and have instead provoked the nation’s 160 million people. They warned that full implementation of the accord, disregarding the country’s constitution, would seriously jeopardize the country’s independence and sovereignty, a situation that the successors of Bir Shrestha Munshi Abdur Rauf and the people of Bangladesh will never accept.
Regrettably, they acknowledged that there are self-proclaimed intellectuals in the country who, influenced by bribes from Santu Larma, spread various misinformation about the full implementation of the peace accord. Despite their claims of patriotism, they overlook the conflicting clauses of the accord with the constitution.
PCCP Rangamati chapter President and newly elected central President Md Habib Azam presided over the human chain, with several key speakers taking the stage to voice their concerns and demands.