Rights activists at a discussion today demanded the government to immediately identify and punish the abductors of Kalpana Chakma to unveil the long-standing mystery over disappearance of the ethnic minority community leader.
They also called upon the authorities to officially apologise for the incident and acknowledge that they have failed to rescue the minority woman.
Hill Women’s Federation and Bangladesh Indigenous Women Network jointly organised the discussion at Women’s Voluntary Association auditorium in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi, marking 23rd anniversary of Kalpana’s abduction.
On June 12 in 1996, a group of armed miscreants abducted the minority leader from her house in Baghaichari upazila of Rangamati.
However, her family members who were present there, alleged that “some members of security and law enforcement agencies” were involved with the incident.
“Kalpana, beyond her identity of an ethnic minority leader, has become an icon of protest to all women,” eminent rights activist Sultana Kamal said at the programme.
The co-chairperson of Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission alleged that a segment of the ruling quarter has lost the ability to judge which are right and fair, and therefore human rights are being violated.
Nijera Kori Coordinator Khushi Kabir said the abduction of Kalpana has been investigated about 39 times so far, but the culprits are yet to be identified. It is quite “ridiculous” as the abductors are almost certain, she said.
The noted rights activist pledged to continue their movement for justice against the abduction.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum General Secretary Sanjeeb Drong said the state is responsible for its failure to find out what happened with Kalpana in 23 years.
“If the government fails to rescue her, at least it can say sorry [on the parliament] that she couldn’t be traced,” said Sanjeeb.
Lawmaker Lutfun Nesa Khan and Hill Women’s Federation President Monira Tripura, among others, also spoke at the event.