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Massacres by Bangladeshi army

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by Mig-29, Sep 1, 2009.

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  1. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    Since 1980, the Bangladesh military and the Bangladeshi settlers had committed 13 major massacres in the Chittgong Hill Tracts (hereafter CHT). Even then massacres were not new in the CHT by then. During the Bangladesh's liberation war against Pakistan, in 1971 the Mukti Bahini (freedom fighters of Bangladesh) perpetrated 3 massacres against the Jumma civilians in the CHT. But it was during the war against Shanti Bahini (the armed resistance of the Jumma people), the Bangladesh Army and the Bangladesh Government stepped up the frequency and intensity of mass murders against innocent civilians. These massacres are executed by systematic planning of the Bangladesh military, often in collaboration with the Bangladeshi settlers to uproot and wipe out the Jumma people from their land. These massacres include only the incidents where large number of people are killed in a single day at a single spot. Large number of People are also killed in military operations of extensive periods in wide areas, those are included in 'Reprisal Attacks' of 'Genocide' section.


    1.
    Kaukhali Massacre, 25/03/1980:
    There have been numerous attacks on the Jumma people by the settlers and the Bangladesh Army. But the massacre of Kaukhali Bazaar of Kalampati on 25th March 1980 stands out, because it was the first massacre in which indigenous people were killed in their hundreds. 300 Jummas were killed in this massacre and many more were injured.

    On that they the Bangladesh military had asked the Jumma people to gather in the bazaar on the pretext holding a meeting for the reconstruction of a Buddhist Temple. Following the gathering the military suddenly encircled the area and opened fired on the unarmed Jumma civilians. The innocent Jumma people were completely caught by surprise. The Bangladesh military beforehand had informed and armed the Bangladeshi settlers for the massacres. The the Bangladeshi settlers assisted the Bangladesh Army by axing the injured men, women, and children, whom the military had hidden in the background for the massacre. Buddhist temples and religious images had been destroyed by the Bangladesh Army and the Bangladeshi settlers.
    Thousands of Jummas took refuge in the Indian state of Tripura. Later on they were repatriated on an agreement between the Tripura government and the Bangladesh Army, and on the promise that things like that would not happen again.A parliamentary investigation team was formed by then Ziaur Rahman Government, but the report never saw the daylight. The military officers who engineered the killings not only were never punished, they were promoted in the ranks of the Bangladesh Army.


    2.
    Banraibari-Beltali-Belchari Massacre, 26/06/1981:
    The Bangladeshi settlers, under the protection of the Bangladesh army, invaded the Jumma area in the vicinity of Banraibari, Beltali and Belchari, murdered 500 Jumma men, women and children, and occupied their villages and farmlands. Thousands of Jumma people fled to the nearby forests and 5,000 of them managed to seek refuge in the Tripura State of India


    3.
    Telafang-Ashalong-Gurangapara-Tabalchari-Barnala
    Massacre, 19/09/1981:
    The Bangladesh army and the Bangladeshi settlers made co-ordinated attacks on 35 Jumma villages including Telafang, Ashalong, Gurangapara, Tabalchari, Barnala etc. in the Feni valley of the CHT, plundered and burned the villages, and killed many thousand men, women and children. Thousands of Jumma people died as a direct and indirect result of these attacks.

    The surviving villagers fled to the Indian State of Tripura and to the adjacent forests. Although the Bangladeshi regime had denied that these refugees were from the CHT, it was forced by the international community to repatriate them. These Jumma people were met at the border by hostile Bangladeshi officials and were given the equivalent of $18 and were left to their fate. Return to their native villages was impossible because their homes and possessions had been appropriated by the Bangladeshi settlers. Many of them died of starvation and of diseases.


    4.
    Golakpatimachara-Machyachara-Tarabanchari
    Massacre, June-August 1983:
    On 26 June, 11,26,27 July and 9,10,11 August 1983, the Bangladesh armed forces and the Bangladeshi immigrants massacred the Jumma people of the villages of Golakpatimachara, Machyachara, Tarabanchari, Logang, Tarabanya, Maramachyachara, Jedamachyachara etc. Hundreds of houses were looted and burned, and 800 people were murdered. Most of the victims were old men, women and children. After clearing the area of the Jumma people the government settled Bangladeshi families there.


    5.
    Bhusanchara Massacre, 31/05/1984:
    In the early morning of 31 May 1984, the Shanti Bahini guerillas attacked the settlements of the Bangladeshi settlers at Gorosthan, Bhusanchara and Chota Harina of Barkal Upazilla (Sub District). About 100 Bangladeshi settlers were reported killed, their homes burned down in the attack. Three BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) camps in the locality were also simultaneously attacked so that the BDR personnel could not intervene. Bhusanchara was the village most severely affected. The attack was given extensive coverage in the Bangladesh news media and President Ershad visited the affected area on 5 June 1984. No publicity was given, however, to the reprisals taken against the Jumma population by the Bangladeshi security personnel immediately after the assaults on the Bangladeshi settlements.

    Some of the Jumma people, apparently anticipating retaliatory raids, left their homes at once and sought to hide in the surrounding forests. Others remained in their villages. Later on 31 May and the following day, the Bangladesh Army personnel, from the 305th brigade of the 26th Bengal Regiment, and members of the 17th battalion of the Bangladesh Rifles, accompanied by the Bangladeshi settlers, attacked the Jumma villages in the area, principally Het Baria, Suguri Para, Gorosthan, Tarengya Ghat, Bhusanchara and Bhusan Bagh. A total of 400 Jumma people including children and women were killed. Many women were gang raped and later shot dead. Seven thousand Jummas crossed the border into the Indian state of Mizoram.

    A Jumma villager from Het Baria gave the following account of his experience to the Amnesty International:

    "My village falls in the Barkal rehabilitation zone where large number of Muslims have settled over the years. There is thus continuous tension between the two communities. In the summer of 1984 there were frequent clashes and the Muslims often used to threaten us saying that the army will come and teach us a lesson. The army came on May 31, accompanied by a large group of Muslims some of whom were armed. They destroyed our village, raped women and killed people. I saw two women getting raped and then killed by bayonets. One Aroti, who is my distant cousin, was also raped by several soldiers and her body was disfigured with bayonets. Several people, including children, were thrown into burning huts. I was among the people singled out for torture in public. Five or six of us were hung upside down on a tree and beaten. Perhaps I was given up for dead and thus survived. The memories of that day are still a nightmare for me. Even now I sometimes wake up in a cold sweat remembering the sight of the soldiers thrusting bayonets into private parts of our women. They were all screaming 'No Chakmas will be born in Bangladesh".


    6.
    Panchari Massacre, 1/05/1986:
    On April 29th, 1986, the Shanti Bahini (resistance of the Jummas) simultaneously attacked the BDR border outposts at Assalong, Chota Assalong and Taidong of Khagrachari District and followed it up with swoops on new settlements of the Bangladeshi settlers. Reprisals by the Bangladesh army, BDR, Ansars (Islamic Guard) and the Bangladeshi settlers, began immediately after 29 April.

    On 1 May and the following days, law enforcement personnel, together with Bangladeshi settlers, entered a number of Jumma villages in the Panchari-Khagrachari area and arbitrarily killed the Jumma inhabitants. The villages included Golakpratimachara, Kalanal, Soto Karmapara, Shantipur, Mirjibil, Hetarachara (also known as Khedarachara Mukhpara), Pujgang, Laogang, Hathimuktipara, Sarveswarpara, Napidapara and Dewan Bazar. After entering the Jumma villages, The Bangladeshi security personnel ordered the inhabitants to assemble on open ground, men separate from women, away from the villagers' huts. While the villagers were held in this way their settlements were set on fire by the Bangladeshi settlers. The Bangladeshi security personnel then opened fire randomly on the groups of villagers who were assembled, killing hundreds of Jumma men, women and children

    Part of this process was described to the Amnesty International by a woman from Mirjibil, about a mile from Panchari, who was witness to the killing of another woman, aged in her 70s:

    "As soon as the raid on my village began, people (other villagers) began to shout asking everybody to leave the village. But before most people could gather their senses the soldiers and the Ansars had come. They were followed by several hundred Muslim settlers.... They immediately began to ransack the village."

    "The soldiers asked the men and the women to stand separately.... One old woman, Phoidebi, had trouble getting up and joining the group outside. A soldier shot her at close range."


    7.
    Matiranga Massacre, May 1986:
    Following the Bangladesh military atrocities described above many people from the affected areas sought refuge in the forests away from their homes. A few hundred people from several different villages gathered during the first week of May between the villages of Sarveswarpara and Manudaspara, in the Matiranga area. One night, probably that of 1/2 May although the precise date is not known, while they were trying to reach the Indian border, they were ambushed by a detachment of Bangladeshi soldiers. The soldiers opened fire without warning and shot at them randomly, without provocation. Over 70 Jumma people were killed.


    8.
    Comillatialla-Taindong Massacre, 18-19/05/1986:
    After the Matiranga massacre a large group of Jumma people fleeing from their homes, numbering over 200, most of whom were of the Tripura nationality, were moving towards the Indian border at Silachari in southern Tripura in mid May. Their presence in the area appears, to had been known for some time to the Bangladeshi security personnel. They were eventually discovered, by the troops of the 31st battalion of the Banglaesh Rifles (BDR), who surrounded them and made them walk into a narrow valley between the villages of Comillatilla and Taidong. In the restricted space of this valley, the soldiers fired indiscriminately at the group, killing most of the people. Once the firing had ceased, a number of Bangladeshi settlers further attacked the group with machete to kill the injured men, women and children.

    . The massacre was described to the Amnesty International by a survivor and refugee in India:

    "I am chief of a large colony of Tripuri tribals and we used to live a little outside Matiranga. Around the end of April and early May, when the Shanti Bahini began raids on the BDR, army and Muslims, the soldiers began to come and bother us. We told them we were not even Chakmas and had thus nothing to do with the Shanti Bahini. But they harassed us."

    "Later, on 8 May, they came in strength and began to burn our village. The officer-in-charge said you Hindus have no place in Bangladesh and asked us to run away. We decided to flee along with some Chakma families in our neighbourhood. But the soldiers did not even let us run away in peace. They chased us and we hid in the jungles in the day, making some progress by night."

    "Last Sunday (18 May) we were approaching the border when a large group of soldiers caught us. The officer said that we would be treated nicely and settled back. He asked us to walk back. The soldiers were around us."

    "They took us to a narrow valley between Taidong and Comillatilla and there suddenly we heard thousands of bullets and shrieks and screams of our people. At least 200 of our people, mainly Tripuris, died. I do not even have any trace of my family. I do not know whether my family members are still in hiding somewhere or if they got killed."

    "As bullets rained from all sides the Muslims too descended on the valley, raping women and killing people with swords, spears and knives; we all ran for our lives in (the) direction of India."


    9.
    Hirachar-Sarbotali-Khagrachari-Pablakhali
    Massacres, 8,9,10 August, 1988:
    The Bangladesh Army along with the aid of the Bangladeshi settlers killed hundreds of the Jumma people(actual number not known, figures based on the eye witness report) in the above areas. Many women were gang raped by the Bangladesh Army and the settlers.


    10.
    Longadu Massacre, 4/05/1989:
    Abdur Rashid, a Bangladeshi community leader was gunned down by an un-identified gunman. The Bangladesh authority and the Bangladeshi settlers suspect that he was gunned down by the Shanti Bahini, due to his involvement in the racially motivated crimes against the Jumma people, though Shanti Bahini denies the claims.In reprisal to Abdur Rashid's killing the Bangladesh Army, the Village Defense Party (armed group formed by the Bangladeshi settlers) and the settlers carried out this gruesome massacre. 40 Jumma people were killed, there dead bodies never returned to the relatives. Their houses were burnt down and Buddhist temples in the area were destroyed. Among the fallen victims were the wife, children and grand-children of the former chairman of the local council Mr. Anil Bikash Chakma. The Bangladesh Army had grabbed his land and settled the Bangladeshi settlers around his homestead. Mr. A.B. Chakma's friends and relatives had warned him of the potential danger of living so close to the Bangladeshi settlers. But he had no where else to go. On that day he was not in home, and that saved his life. Later on even after repeated appeal to the Bangladesh military authority, the dead bodies were never returned for Buddhist religous rites and cremation.


    11.
    Malya Massacre, 2/02/1992:
    On 2 February 1992 two bombs exploded on a passenger boat at Malya. The boat was on its way from Marishya to Rangamati. Malya is now inhabited by the Bengali settlers from the plain. The explosion killed one passenger and seriously injured the driver of the boat. The survivors swam ashore, but the armed Bengali settlers were waiting for them. The settlers attacked the Jumma passengers- men, women and children. About 30 of them were killed. Fourteen bodies were recovered, the others were lost in the water.Some representatives of the Jumma people were supposed to board the boat on their way to Rangamati and Dhaka to protest against recent army atrocities in the area: Captain Masiur Rahman of Bangladesh army had tortured a student Mr. Biswamuni Chakma and a Buddhist monk (the Rev. Bodhimitra Bhikkhu) and had treated some female students indecently. Moreover three Buddhist Viharas (monasteries) had been desecrated by the army. According to an eye-witness account, two members of the security forces boarded the boat at Dulachari carrying two kerosene tins. They disembarked at the next stop, leaving the tins. These exploded shortly afterwards. The Bangladesh media reported that the explosion was caused by the Shanti Bahini.


    12.
    Logang Massacre, 10/04/1992:
    On 10 April 1992 the biggest massacre in a single day, at single place, in the history of the CHT took place at Logang cluster village in Khagrachari District, perpetrated by the Bangladeshi security forces and the Bangladeshi settlers.

    The military forces forcibly relocated some fifteen hundred Jumma families from the surrounding Jumma villages to the Logang cluster village, which is nothing but a concentration camp, and distributed their ancestral villages and farmlands to the Bangladeshi infiltrators free of cost. Then they hatched a plot to find an excuse to get rid of those Jumma prisoners. On 10 April, 1992, the military authorities sent two Bangladeshis, armed with machete, to rape some Jumma women who were grazing their cattle at their Logang cluster village. The Jumma women tried to defend themselves and at the same time they cried for help. A Jumma gentleman came to their rescue and asked the Bangladeshi rapists to leave the Jumma women alone. Instead of going away, the rapists attacked the Jumma gentleman and hacked him to death. During the attack, one of the rapists was also injured. After killing the Jumma gentleman, the rapists went straight to the camp of the Bangla Desh Rifles (BDR). The military authorities found the excuse they were looking for and used the injured rapist as a victim of the Shanti Bahini (SB) attack. On the pretext of searching out the SB, the military forces and the Bangladeshi settlers combinedly attacked the Logang cluster village immediately after the arrival of the two rapists at the BDR camp. They hacked many Jummas to death and shot dead those who tried to flee. Then the invaders forced the old people, women and children into their homes and burnt them alive by setting their homes on fire.

    The exact number of the Jumma people killed at Logang will never be known, as many of the dead bodies had been removed by the military immediately after the massacre. According to several eye-witness reports the number must be well over 400. Some 800 houses were burnt down and more than 2000 people fled across the border to Tripura of India after the massacre.


    13.
    Naniachar Massacre, 17/11/1993:
    On 17 November 1993 at least 29 Jumma people were killed and more than a hundred wounded when Bangladeshi settlers, supported by the Bangladesh Army, attacked a peaceful rally of Jumma people in Naniarchar Bazzar. The rally was organized by the Greater Chittagong Hill Tracts Hill Students' Council, with the advance permission from the local authorities, and was part of a campaign against the use of the only waiting shed for motor-lauch passengers as an army check post. The reports about the massacre which the CHT Commission has received from various Bangladeshi and Jumma peoples' organizations and individuals all draw roughly the same picture of the cause of events. Naniarchar is surrounded on three sides by the Kaptai Lake, so people travel mostly by boat. People arriving and departing from Naniarchar are regularly questioned and harassed by the army personnel from the checkpoint. There was widespread resentment among the local residents against the army checkpost.On 17 November, soon after the students had held their meeting and rally, Bangladeshi settlers led by Union Council member Ahmed Miah held a counter demonstration, for which they had obtained permission on the same day. There were joined by a few hundred settlers from adjacent villages, led by Md. Ayub Hossain, president of Parbatya Gana Parishad (Hill Tracts Peoples' Council, an organization of the Bangladeshi settlers, not to be confused with the Hill Peoples' Council of the Jumma people), and Abdul Latif, chairman of Burighat Union Council. They arrived on boats, armed with iron rods, sticks and machete. Surprisingly, the settlers were not disarmed by the army personnel at the check post. Tension rose and at one point the settlers started attacking the Jumma people. Even the Jumma people who tried to escape by jumping into the lake were hacked to death. It was reported that the law enforcing agencies did not try very hard to stop the attack and observed impassively. Students defended themselves with firewood and sticks which they collected from tea shops. Then the settlers were already retreating, there was a whistle from the army camp and the army opened fire on the students.

    Investigations:
    Most of the massacres of the Jumma people, have never been investigated by the Bangladesh Government. After a few massacres the government did set up an investigation committee, but never to much effect. The report of the inquiry committee set up after the Logang massacre in April 1992 in which few hundred Jumma people were killed by the Bangladeshi security forces and the Bangladeshi settlers, was made public. However it largely projected the Bangladesh Army version of the event. The report of the Naniarchar Massacre in November 1993 has never been made public. Moreover, never have persons responsible for any massacre or other human rights violations been tried in court. At the most a few of the army officers have been transferred or given early retirement.

    Massacres in the CHT
     
  2. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    Religious persecution by th bangladeshi army

    The destruction of Jumma peoples' religious and cultural life in the CHT have been a marked feature of the CHT conflict since the early 1970s. The Jumma peoples of the CHT are Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Animists. These religious groupings reflect ethnic differences. The Chakma, Tangchanya and Marma are mainly Buddhists, the Tripuras Hindus and some smaller groups such as the Bawm and Pankhua are Christians. Mru and Khumi practise what is known as Animism. Religious tolerance has been a long tradition of the Jumma people. One way of understanding this tolerance is to see it in terms of an underlying element common throughout the CHT which consists of different manifestations of an underlying stratum of animistic traits which coexists with Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.

    The Jumma people consider themselves culturally very different from the Bangladeshis. Bangladesh has Islam as the state religion. The state education is oriented to 'mainstream' nationalism and in some cases, according to the pupils and teachers, has a strong Islamic influence. Bengali predominates over other languages and, apart from the few cases where the Jumma people have developed their own schools, the educational system in the CHT is designed to draw the Jumma people into the Islamic culture of Bangladesh.

    The main Islamic missionary organization is Al Rabita, funded by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, this non governmental organization has been working since 1980 to convert the Jumma people. It has a main office in Dhaka and offices in Rangamati, Langadu where it also has a hospital, Barkal, Alikadam of the CHT. At Alikadam, in 1990 the Al Rabita missionary center converted 17 Marma people to Islam.

    Throughout the CHT the mosque construction continues to take place. Loudly amplified calls to prayer frequently punctuates the lives of the Jumma people. The Bangladeshi authorities argue that their religious tolerance can be seen in Buddhist, Hindu and Christian Welfare Trust. One Chakma fellow said that he went to the Central Audit Bureau to seek support from the Welfare Fund and was told: "Why don't you become a Muslim and we'll all be brothers". The most disturbing aspects of religious persecution in the CHT are the destruction of temples, prevention of worship, violence motivated by religious hatred and forcible conversion to Islam.

    There have been numerous incidents of forcible conversion in the CHT. Chakma women who marry Bangladeshis whether by choice or abducted by force, have to convert to Islam. The Jumma prisoners who are detained in Chittagong, Rangamati or Khagrachari jails are placed in cells with a majority of Muslims whose task it is to try and convert the Jumma persons. The Jummas who are captured by the Bangladeshi security forces are very often given the options of torture or conversion to Islam as a way to escape the suffering.

    In recent years the Jamat-i-Islami (Islamic fundamentalist political party) has been very active in the CHT. It builds mosques, actively promotes Islam and it was responsible for destroying Buddhist and Hindu temples in the CHT.

    An account by one of the monks now in Tripura described in detail an incident in 1986 which took place in Panchari where a group of hill people were attacked because they were not Muslims.

    "Before this happened, one day 13 of us went to market. I was not a monk then. The Bangladesh Rifles (paramilitary force) and settlers caught us and out of 13, nine were killed and four of us escaped. The reason was that we were not Muslims; they wanted us to be Muslims to take Islam. It was in the market itself and some of the people were also caught up from around. Among the people whom they caught was my wife. They cut her with daos (machette) - some of the marks on her neck are still there. She is in Karbook (refugee camp in Tripura). This took place in the market itself on market day, Wednesday. The others ran away. They also tried to cut me with daos on the neck. Luckily my shirt collar was thick and I escaped from being killed. As they killed the others they shouted: 'Oh Chakmas, will you not become Muslims? If you refuse we will kill you now'."

    A Buddhist monk from the temple at Kalanal described to the Amnesty International the persistent harassment of the Jumma villagers by the military personnel and the settlers:

    "For many months now soldiers have been regularly visiting us and slaughtering cows in our shrine.... They always said that if we did not agree to this (conversion to Islam) they will come one day and kill us.""On the morning of 1 May they carried out their threat by escorting a group of two to three hundred settlers, some of whom were dressed in the uniform of home guards, to our village and began their depredations by attacking Buddha Vihar (the temple). Most of us were, however, able to flee but soldiers pounced on Purnananda Bhikku (one of the monks) and after beating him with rifle ***** handed him over to the Muslims who threw him into the shrine which was by now on fire. He died. Later when I met more people from my village they said that two young girls of the village had been raped mercilessly by troops and Muslims and then killed with bayonets."

    Another woman described her experience that happened in March/April 1989 to the CHT Commission as following:

    "Some soldiers came to our house and woke us up and poured cold wate on our heads. I had two daughters. The soldiers tried to take my daughters, they were 9 and 11 years old. They hit me on the head with lathi (bamboo stick). My head was bleeding. My daughters were crying As my head was bleeding heavily, the soldiers gave me some medicine Then they asked me whether I would become a Muslim. I said: 'No, I'd rather die.' Then they said: Will you be able to stand naked before us and also 'If you give us your daughters, we will release you.' They beat me then and left."

    Desecration is invariably accompanied by violent attacks against worshippers. The following case was told by a Marma monk describing an event in Pablakhali, Dighinala in 1985:

    "On that day first the settlers and the army surrounded the temple. I was caught and my hands were tied with rope as were my legs. Water was poured through my nostrils. I was kicked with boots and my leg was cut. People came into the temple and caught all the girls. They took the girls a little way from the temple. I heard the cries of the girls - maybe they were raped but I did not see it with my own eyes. After a few days I met one of the girls but as a monk I have some restrictions and could not ask her what had happened. The army performed desecration in the temples. They go in with boots on and throw away food in the temple. Every day before 12 o'clock we offer food to Lord Buddha. The Muslims say: 'then why does not stone eat it'? The army uses guns to break plates. Once I was about to offer food to the Buddha and the Muslims entered and said 'let's see if stone can eat', then they said 'stone can't eat' and they took the plate from my hands and threw it on the floor. They bring animals into the temple and slaughter them: goats and cows. Buddhist people never kill animals so you cannot worship in the temple after that has happened. I have witnessed it. At Pablakhali in 1985, before the attack, about 35-50 army personnel entered the monastery with 100-150 settlers remaining outside. They cooked inside the temple and burnt wood on the dirt floor and brought wood in. They killed the animals outside the temple but within the boundary of the temple. They did this to crush Buddhism and establish Islam. There was no other reason for this."

    The second incident took place in Mani Gram, Khagrachari in 1986 and was also described by a Marma monk:

    "I was in Mani Gram Buddhist temple. On 12 June, 1986 we tried to celebrate a function in the temple. All of a sudden some troops came and said: 'Hey, what are you doing?' We replied: 'We are going to wash our God'. The soldiers said: 'You cannot wash God because this is a Muslim state. You cannot worship the Lord Buddha, you have to abandon this religion and become Muslim.' We refused to do so. Then the soldiers caught us and tied our hands and started to pour water on our heads. I was the only monk there, the others were villagers numbering around 20. All of us were tied in pairs and the soldiers starting pouring water and when they were not satisfied by pouring water they started kicking us with their boots. The water was not just water, but it was mixed with green chilies. When we were tied up they stood with bayonets over us so we would not struggle. My skin started burning and most of us were injured as I was. I had cuts and sores on my legs. We were tied up in afternoon and they started to burn the house of the village which we could see. We were tied up from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon, a total of eight hours. The soldiers untied us. At about 5 o'clock they set fire to the temple and we went into hiding in the jungles. The settlers were not with the soldiers when they tied us up, but were there when the village was burnt. There is a river called Chengi. After coming to the river we went hiding into the deep jungle. After four days trekking all through the jungle. I reached the border of Tripura (India) and Karbook camp. In that lot we were around 450 people. Before 12th June there was no other incident. The only reason for the attack was religion. If we became Muslim we could stay safe. I know one Marma who was my friend called Uchmang. He was threatened that if he did not become a Muslim he would be harmed with his relatives. He was forcibly converted. He came from a different village, Mahalchari in Khagrachari District."

    A Marma monk in Tripura explained how the military authorities control religious ceremonies in the Chittagong Hill Tracts:

    "Religious functions need a permit from the authorities, for example, the Purnima full moon celebrations and several Purnima functions numbering about six in a year. We need permits for other functions too. Many people come to these functions. For a funeral ceremony no permit is necessary, but seven days later, the seventh day ritual after cremation needs permission from the authorities. When someone becomes a monk you need such a permit. To celebrate functions you have to collect money and so permission is needed. The permit is for both money collection and the ceremony. The army officers give the permit. It was always army officers who give it. There is no cost for the permit. I used to go for the permit and was never refused but it was a lot of trouble, waiting to meet the officer etc."

    Chitmarang is the most sacred shrine of Buddhism in the CHT. Although it is in an area which is predominantly Marma, thousands of Chakmas traditionally traveled there annually to pay their respect to the ancient image of the Buddha in the old temple. For several years because of constant checks by the military, it has been impossible for Buddhists to reach Chitmarang temple. Chitmarang no longer functions in this capacity. The army have to give permission which is granted only to the lucky few or to those who can afford to bribe the army.

    The Religious Persecution in the CHT
     
  3. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    Rapes and abduction by the bangladeshi army

    The Bangladeshi security personnel have been inflicting rape upon the Jumma women since the conflict started in the mid 1970s. The Bangladesh military systematically use rape as a deliberate tactic to destroy or damage the Jumma nation. Women are targeted by the military for two objectives: as a member of the 'enemy' and as a female individual. By raping a woman the oppressor does not just aim at hurting her personally, he takes what's a woman's private possession and at the same time tramples and humiliates the identity of the Jumma people as a whole. Jumma women are made pregnant by the Bangladesh military and thus are forced to give birth to children of the enemy. According to the Hill Women's Federation (HWF), there have been 47 reported cases of rapes between January 1991 and June 1992, five in 1993, four in 1994 and twelve in 1995. The HWF maintains that there have been many more such instances, but due to social taboos and fear of reprisals, the victims or their families do not come forward with this kind of information. The Jumma women are especially attractive and exotic to the Bangladeshis. They move around more freely and are not bound by the same cultural and religious impositions that restrict the freedom of movement of Muslim women. These cultural differences combined with the military presence and the increasing domination of Bengali Muslim culture in the CHT have made the Jumma women more exposed to sexual attacks and harassment. The CHT Commission interviewed some rape victims in the refugee camps of Tripura, India. A woman told the CHT Commission:

    "About 50 army personnel came in the night and rounded up the whole village and gathered us in one place. In the morning all the men were arrested. I was tied up hands and legs, naked. They raped me. There were three women there. They raped me in front of my father-in-law. After that we were tied up together, naked, facing each other. Then they left. Three other girls were raped in front of me. This happened in the month of Ashar (June/July) of 1985."

    Another refugee woman from Dighinala told in Tripura:

    "In the early morning 5 to 6 groups of soldiers encircled the village and some entered the huts. They caught all men and brought them to the fields and tied them with rope. My husband had his teeth beaten out of him, all blood. My son ran to his father and he was thrown to one side. The army ordered me to go into my hut and pointed guns at me. One grabbed me by the neck. My husband was near. My husband was almost beaten to death. I was raped by three soldiers in the room. After this I didn't want to live anymore, but what am I to do? I am still suffering from it. My husband is still injured in the lungs and can't work. I want to go back if there is peace, otherwise not. I want medical treatment as I am still suffering from the rape. I am still afraid of Muslims. My ribs were broken and my skin burns there. This happened in June 1986. I am still like mad, disturbed."

    A woman from Matiranga told what happened to her in April 1986:

    "They (the army) surrounded the village early in the morning, we had not yet got up. Then they shouted to come out of the houses and concentrated all the people in one place. Then they started asking whether we had helped the SB (Shanti Bahini). All of us kept silent. ...Then they started beating the men and the women. One girl was taken by three soldiers. I don't know where she was taken. Then it was my turn. Two soldiers took me and subjected me to abuse. I was fully naked, they harassed me, they even poked me with a bayonet. I was left alone. I didn't know what to do. Somehow I managed to cover my body with some cloth and went to the jungle and kept walking till I reached India."

    Life in the cluster villages is not safe, especially for women. Women in cluster villages are more vulnerable to rape by Bangladesh Army personnel and are often forced to spend the night with their rapist. A man in one of the refugee camps explained:

    "I was forced to live in a cluster village. We had to come here because we have a teenage daughter and we were afraid that she would be raped by the army. ...A woman neighbor was raped in 1989 after the cluster village was established. She then fled to India, together with 22 other families."

    Sometimes educated women are specifically targeted by the military. Recounting an army attack on her village, one woman who worked in a rubber plantation told the CHT Commission:

    "The army raped some of the women, especially college students and women working in offices. Many girls were taken to the army camp. After this incident (1989), intellectuals of the village were arrested by the army so as to prevent them from taking shelter in India. ...The girls who were taken away to the army camps were released after one week. In the camp the army raped them repeatedly."

    Forced itermarriage is one way in which women are used as an instrument to integrate the Jumma people into Islamic Bangladeshi society and to alter the demographic profile in the area. Many Jumma women had been kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam and married. Jumma women were murdered who refused to be converted and married. A woman who came to Tripura in July 1990 told the Commission:

    "I was walking along the road to go to the fields with my six-year old niece to plant some seeds. A man appeared before us, bound my mouth with a piece of cloth and took me away on his scooter. . .I was kept for three months. I was forcibly converted to Islam and married."

    Rape is used systematically as a weapon against Jumma women in the CHT. Rape is a recurring characteristics of attacks by the Bangladesh military and by the BD settlers on Jumma villages. Many women were gang raped by the soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, often in front of their children. Women live in continuous fear of rape. Women who have been raped may be rejected by their husbands or their families, or may not be able to get married. If they become pregnant they have to conceal this fact and must try to have an abortion. If a child is born it is impossible for the woman to stay in her community as the situation is not accepted and she is ostracized. For these reasons women who have been raped hesitate to talk about it at all because they are scared or worried about the social stigma. This makes it difficult to collect information on such sensitive issue. The trauma of rape remains with these women form years, and many of them are still suffering from its repercussions years later.


    Rape and Abduction of Jumma Women
     
  4. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    Genocide by the bangladeshi army

    There have been massive and systematic human rights violations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), committed by the Bangladeshi security forces and the Bangladeshi settlers. The Jumma people have been murdered, crippled, raped, tortured, imprisoned and deprived of their homes and means of livelihood. They have been denied civil and political rights.

    Netherlands based Organizing Committee for CHT Campaign reported 278 cases of Human Rights violations committed between July 1985 to December 1985. The human rights abuses include murders, torture, rape, arson, robbery, abduction, forcible conversion to Islam and electoral fraud. The policy of the Bangladesh government had been to destroy the local inhabitants in order to settle its Muslim co-religionist in their place. Torture of the CHT people is carried out by the Bangladesh armed forces everyday. It is so brutal and severe that many of the victims are crippled and most of them die prematurely. Most commonly, the Bangladesh military or paramilitary personnel enter Jumma villages in the early hours of the morning and take away a small number of able-bodied young men of the village or occasionally the village headman, to their camps. The arrests are undertaken without using any legal procedure such as the presentation of arrest warrants or bringing the arrested person before a magistrate within 24 hours, as the Criminal Procedure Code specifies for arrests by police officers. The Chittagong Hill Tracts had never been officially declared a "disturbed area" so that the provisions of the Disturbed Areas (Special Powers) Ordinance, 1962 - the 1980 Disturbed Areas Bill never had been enacted - had not been invoked. As a result no legal procedures were in force specifically providing for civilians to be arrested by military or paramilitary forces.
    1. Military Induced Terror

    Jumma villagers detained for questioning by the Bangladesh military and paramilitary personnel are regularly tortured. Such prisoners are generally kept in pits or trenches some seven or eight feet deep, dug within the perimeter of the army or BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) camps; Jumma villagers have often been compelled to dig these pits in the first instance. One of the two sides of the pit or trench is protected by a fence of bamboo stakes. Prisoners are held in groups of up to 15 or 20 at one time in these conditions. Several former prisoners said that soldiers sprinkled hot water over the pit or trench to increase their discomfort almost daily. Prisoners are then taken out singly from the pit for interrogation. The techniques of torture which former prisoners reported to be most frequently used during interrogation are: extensive beating, with rifle ***** and sticks, on all parts of the body; pouring very hot water into the nostrils and mouth; hanging the prisoner upside down, often from a tree, for long periods and poking him with a bayonet or stick; hanging the prisoner by the shoulders for long periods and then beating the soles of the feet; and burning with cigarettes. Over the years, many Jumma villagers died in custody as a result of the treatment they received. A middle-aged teacher from Laogang village, in the Panchari area, described his experiences to the Amnesty International thus:

    "In the first week of December (1985) the army came to my village and said that it was looking for those who train and support Shanti Bahini boys. When they failed to find anyone they caught hold of me and took me trussed up and blindfolded to an army camp where I found that several Chakmas were already present. Immediately the troops and the officer in charge began to beat us up asking for the whereabouts of the Shanti Bahini people. Since we did not know anything we could give them no information. The soldiers then took us to a part of the army camp where a huge deep pit was already present. All the while they were kicking and abusing, spitting at us and shoving with rifle *****. We were all thrown into the pit and for several days soldiers came and threw boiling water at us whenever they felt like having a little fun because whenever that happened all of us tried to get under each other for cover. We were often dragged out individually and subjected to third degree treatment. Boiling water was poured into our nostrils and mouth. For several hours we were hung from the trees upside down and beaten with sticks. Once I was hung from the trees by my shoulders and beaten with cane on the bare soles of my feet. We were given food not more than once a day and were constantly threatened that we would not be allowed to go out alive. All this while I had no contact with my family. It is ridiculous even to suggest that I could have contacted a lawyer and tried for bail. I still have scars of burns from boiling water over my body."

    This interview was conducted six months after the teacher's detention. Faint scars on his body were visible to the naked eye but could not be successfully photographed. Other accounts of treatment in army or BDR camps by villagers from other places are markedly consistent with the above account, as is illustrated by the experience of a villager from Rangapani, also in the Panchari area:

    "I was arrested by the army who said that I knew about the activities of the Shanti Bahini boys, which was incorrect but they took me away to a military camp near Khagrachari where I was detained along with several other Chakmas in a deep pit. As a routine of almost every day soldiers came and sprinkled boiling water on the pit. We were given nothing to eat but watery dal (a lentil dish) and pasty rice. They took each one of us out individually for torture and questioning. Usually the torture meant severe beating with cane, rifle ***** and hanging the man upside down from a tree which made it easy for the soldiers to pour boiling water into his nostrils and mouth. This was done to me three times. Also one afternoon the officer came and poked various parts of my body with a cigarette. I still bear the burn marks on my right cheek".

    "When they were unable to get anything out of me, they threatened me with electric shock. I was taken to a room where they had kept a bucket of water in which they had dipped two live wires tied to a razor blade. They stripped me and asked me to urinate in the bucket. They kept on beating me up but even though I tried I wasn't able to do it because of fear. They beat me up till I fell unconscious and threw me back in the pit. All the while we had no way of contacting a lawyer or court. My family had no way of contacting me as well, but they were able to contact (a member of the Panchari Union Parishad - council) who was able to secure my release."

    Several former Jumma prisoners had also been threatened with the electric shock treatment. Another villager from the panchari area described the experience of his 27-year-old son during December 1985, when his son had been held for 23 days in Khagrachari cantonment:

    "The torture basically was army men throwing hot water into their nostrils and mouth and mercilessly beating. When the army got no information from my son in spite of this, he was subjected to electric shock in the cantonment. The shocks were administered with as crude a device as two naked electric wires which the soldiers touched to different parts of the detainee's body, particularly on the tongue and spinal cord. Hy son was released after I pleaded with the Union Council which intervened."

    This villager also stated that one of the people held with his son, Santoshmani Chakma, died as a result of torture. Mass tortures were also meted out to the Jumma villagers during searches for the Shanti Bahini guerillas and supporters, they are rounded up from their homes and a few of them, often the young men, are picked out and tortured in front of the assembled villagers. The methods of torture cited are the same as those reported to be used regularly on prisoners held in army or BDR camps. One such incident occurred at Monatek village, Mohalchari on 19 september 1984. Police personnel from the Armed Police Battalion (APB) based at Mohalchari are reported to have rounded up the villagers at around 10 pm on open ground near the village. Four men were then said to have been selected from among the assembled group and in front of all the others they were reportedly hung upside down, beaten and had water poured in their nostrils and mouth.
    2. Concentration Camps

    Torture also used when coercing the Jumma villagers to move from their homes into collective farms, or "cluster villages". The policy of establishing what were essentially collective farms began in 1964, to encourage tribal people to settle on permanent land plots rather than continue jhum (slash and burn) cultivation. Since around 1977, however, it appears that the settlements to which the Jumma people have been moved bear greater resemblance to "concentration camps", since army, BDR or police camps are also established alongside them. The relocation of the Jumma villagers has been presented by law enforcement personnel as being in the villagers' best interests although the implementation of this policy serve other purposes: through the close surveillance of the Jumma villagers, assistance and shelter to the Shanti Bahini can be prevented, while the land vacated by the Jumma villagers may then be used for resettling Bangladeshi settlers from other parts of the country. These "cluster villages" were established throughout the Chittagong Hill Tracts. In early 1986, an effort to intensify the formation of "cluster villages" in the northern parts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts was begun by the law enforcement personnel of Bangladesh. The area affected included villages in the Mohalchari-Nanyarchari-Khagrachari locality. A member of the Marma nationality described the experience of his village, Khularam Para, near Mohalchari:

    "On 27 January (1986), about 50 armed men from Hajachara camp, commanded by a captain, raided my village and ordered people to move to a cluster village at Hobachari. The captain gave a speech and said that for our own safety, development and for destroying the Shanti Bahini it was necessary for us to move to larger villages. When we refused they took aside about 20 of my villagers and tortured them in full public view by burning them with cigarettes, beating them with rifle ***** and spitting on their faces....Later the village was burnt and everyone ran helter skelter".

    Similar abuses were taking place in the Nanyarchari area, according to a villager from Dewan Chara:

    "Since the beginning of this year the army and police had been visiting the villages in our area asking people to prepare to shift to a new cluster village. They said it was necessary for us to shift for our development and national security. But we all said no, because these cluster villages are like concentration camps where we have to remain constantly under the eye of the soldiers and where our women are not safe."

    "In February, large-scale operations commenced in our region and on the fifth of the month a group of soldiers raided our village. The 0fficer-in-charge abused us and the soldiers who were firing in the air to scare us started to beat us up indiscriminately. After a while they took out about 15 of us and marched us to the Buddha Vihar (Temple). There we were tortured very badly for a long time. They poured hot water into our mouths and nostrils and burned some of us with cigarette *****. We were let off later in the evening when we promised to shift to the new village."

    3. Restrictions on Movement, Buying and Selling

    The Bangladesh military divides the CHT into three different zones: red, yellow and white. The red zones are the interior of the CHT, the white zones are the areas within two miles of the regional military headquarters where the army is in full control, while the yellow zones are the Bangladeshi settler areas. The following restrictions broadly cover the different zones: In the red zones the most restrictions are imposed on the Jumma people but not on the Bangladeshis. All the Jumma people have to carry an identity card and if they go shopping they have to carry a market pass. The market pass which is headed 'Bangladesh is in my heart" is a means of controlling the quantities of rice, kerosene, oil and other goods which they are allowed to buy. A family cannot buy more than four kilos of rice per person each week. This is checked at all the military posts along the road. People are asked where they come from, where they are going to and their bags are searched. If hill people want to sell some of their produce, such as rice, they have first to seek written permission from the army. A Chakma woman from Khagrachari District was arrested, tortured and sexually harrassed by the Bangaldeshi security forces for buying clothes in 1989.

    "I went to the market and bought some clothes. All of a sudden a policeman came from behind and caught me. The police asked: 'Why did you buy the clothes?' I said: 'To wear.' Then he took me to jail and started beating me and giving me electric shocks. They kept me one and a half days, tying my hands. Then they transferred me to Khagrachari army camp. They tortured me at the army camp. The army soldiers assaulted me by touching my breasts etc. After five days I was released on the condition that I report there every month. The charge was that I bought clothes for the Shanti Bahini."

    One Jumma youth in Dighinala Upazilla told the CHT Commission that his family wanted to sell rice so he could pay the fees for his studies. When the permission came they were allowed to sell only one maund of rice (about 40 kilos) which was not enough to pay for his studies. There is also a restriction on the quantity of medicines that a person may buy and in some places people need permission from the army before buying any medicines. In the south, people need permission to take goods from there to Bandarban. The reason behind these measures is the army's fear that people will give food and other necessities to the Shanti Bahini. In the yellow zones the Jumma people have to carry identity cards, but no market passes are needed. There is however, in these zones too, a restriction on how much medicine they are allowed to buy. In the white zones there are no specific restrictions, but only those which apply throughout the CHT as a whole. These include a prohibition on all movement outside of towns after the closing hours of the check posts and the need for written permission for long trips.

    Genocide
     
  5. TopCat

    TopCat ELITE MEMBER

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    I think this thread is irrelevant now.
    We had a peace treaty in CHT and we moved on. Both Bengalis are tribes.
    So just opening a thread with obsolete subject is nothing but to malign Bangladeshis here.
    Your intention seems clear Mig-29.
     
  6. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Mig-29,
    Sorry could not go through all of them.

    You happened to forget to mention the massacres carried out by Shanti bahini on Bengalis and Army officers.

    You also forgot to mention,India supplied the arms and training to Shanti Bahini to destablize Bangladesh,after 1975.As admitted by the insurgents themselves.

    So a friendly advice,do a research on both sides before hoping in.
    If innocents were killed by the army,then it is without a doubt condemnable.And those responsible should be punished.

    But as Iajdani said,we are past these now.There is a peace treaty in effect.So please do not try to create trouble,intentionally or unintentionally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  7. EyelessInGaza

    EyelessInGaza FULL MEMBER

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    Move on eh? I wish some of you would do the same when you come with with your 'analyses' of India.

    How does it feel now that the shoe is on the other foot?
    :tup:
     
  8. hack

    hack FULL MEMBER

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    Like yours when you googled India+ethnic cleaning and then copied the first hit from 2003 and created a thread?

    Edit:-Mistake pointed out by Leon...comment should not have been directed at you.I apologize.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  9. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    iajdani did not create that thread,it was someone else.Do not mix up members.
     
  10. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    What's your comment on India supplying arms and training to Shanti Bahini,which started massacring Bengalis?
    This is right after 1975,before these "massacres".
     
  11. hack

    hack FULL MEMBER

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    I apologize..I got confused with names of the members.
     
  12. TopCat

    TopCat ELITE MEMBER

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    Well I said, that is a settled issue. Everybody accepted their part of the responsibility and signed a treaty and we have a peace. I bet the people in question does not have any more complaints against us.
    Also the rebells surrendered their arms, and came back to normal life.

    Regarding the issues in India, they still are open cases.
     
  13. EyelessInGaza

    EyelessInGaza FULL MEMBER

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    Same as before - when some forummers insist on parroting 'facts' , they shouldn't be surprised when they get facts parroted back at them.
     
  14. EyelessInGaza

    EyelessInGaza FULL MEMBER

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    That's a fairer answer, and also valid from your POV. I may not agree but it is relevant. So - accepted as an argument.

    My comment was on BD forummers who speak of (not a direct quote, just paraphrasing) 'racist indians' 'Indians are nazis', 'Hindus are Nazis', 'India is an evil empire'.

    They speak utter nonsense, are biased, possibly racist. They speak from their own deep well of ethnic/ religious fundamentalism. Why should they complain when someone else shows them a mirror?
     
  15. EyelessInGaza

    EyelessInGaza FULL MEMBER

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    To add to the above; I do not deny that India is perceived as arrogant in the neighborhood. But criticism is best when based on reason - and there are plenty of reasons for that, I'm sure.

    However, a blind hatred - based on what sounds to me like religious underpinnings, i.e. Islamic xenophobia - doesn't get us anywhere. And leads to absolutely hilarious accusations that undermine the seriousness/ merit of arguments.
     
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