Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) issued a statement yesterday -- rounding up last year's human rights situation in the Chattogram Hill Tracts, and alleging gross violations like land-grabbing, communal strife and violence against women, as well as increasing Bengali settlements.
In 2020, 16 Jumma women and children were subjected to violence by Bengali settlers, said the statement. "Among them, incidents of the gang-gape of a Tripura widow (25) by six 'outsider' settlers in Lama in August and another gang-rape of a mentally-challenged Chakma woman and looting of her house by nine settlers in Khagrachhari Sadar area in September were the most tragic and brutal incidents," PCJSS alleged.
The statement also detailed out a list of ethnic conflicts in the region between indigenous people and settlers, including attacks, arson of Buddhist temple and rubber plants, and land-grabbing by influential individuals, ruling party-backed administrators and tourism companies.
In addition, work to build a dam at Sijokchara of Sajek in the interest of tourism business has been intensified, the statement said. "Construction of the dam at Sajek will also damage 500 acres of land of around 250 Jumma families, the forests and biodiversity of the area," said PCJSS.
The organisation alleged an ongoing "criminalisation of individuals and organisations that demand implementation of the CHT Accord, labelling them as 'terrorists', 'extortionists', 'armed miscreants'."
Three extrajudicial killings were also claimed in the statement, which decried the home minister's announcement to re-establish security camps that were withdrawn after the signing of the CHT Peace Accord.