The violation of the human rights of indigenous people, which has been going on "alarmingly" in Bangladesh, intensified significantly in some cases last year, according to a recent report.
But, the state failed to investigate the incidents and punish the culprits in most cases. In addition, the victims were often denied essential protection and co-operation in suing the perpetrators.
The Human Rights Report 2013 on Indigenous Peoples, prepared by Kapaeeng Foundation on the basis of news reports, was launched in the capital's Cirdap auditorium yesterday.
It shows 11 indigenous people including four women--three from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and eight others from plains--were killed, while Bangalee settlers and grabbers destroyed and looted houses and properties of 346 families--275 in CHT and 71 in plains--in 10 attacks.
In 2013, some 3,792 acres of land in CHT were either grabbed or went under the process of occupation and acquisition. Of this, 3,717 acres were grabbed by outsiders and influential persons and 75 acres by the government. In plains, 103 bighas were grabbed.
Last year, 67 indigenous women and children--53 from CHT and 14 from plains--faced violence. Of them, 15 were raped. At least 47 houses were burnt to ashes, while 2,000 people of 400 families in CHT fled to "no man's land" adjacent to India due to attacks in 2013.
Referring to the fact that 200 indigenous families from North Bengal migrated to India in the last five years, indigenous leader Sanjeeb Drong said it proved that they were not well here.
Dhaka University's Prof Mesbah Kamal stressed the fact that indigenous people were not the enemy of the state, while educationist Prof Zillur Rahman Siddiqui advised taking the report to all political parties.
The speakers stressed the full implementation of the 1997 peace accord for solving the problems in CHT.