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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Attack on HWF Leaders, Workers 3 journos, 12 others hurt in Rangamati

Courtesy: Dhaka, 13 June 2010

Staff Correspondent

At least 15 people including three journalists were injured in an attack allegedly by Bangalee settlers in Rangamati yesterday.

The incident occurred during a blockade on roads and waterways enforced by Hill Women's Federation (HWF), a political platform for women based in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Around 50 to 60 settlers with sticks attacked leaders and activists of HWF around 11:30am when they brought out a procession and barricaded Rangamati-Chittagong highway at Manikchhari in sadar upazila.

The journalists-- M Solaiman and Nandan Devnath, district correspondents of Diganta Television and Bangla Vision, and Milton, cameramen of ATN-- were admitted to a sadar hospital.

The HWF leaders said the settlers made the attack in presence of police and army personnel, reports our Rangamati correspondent.

On information, a police team led by Officer-in-Charge of Kotwali Police Station Babul Uddin Sarder rushed to the spot, and brought the situation under control.

The HWF leaders also brought out processions at different places including Naniachar, Kawkhali, Manikchhari, Kutukchhari and Bilaichhari upazilas in support of the blockade.

They urged the government to publish immediately the report of the enquiry committee formed to investigate the Kalpana Chakma case.

Vehicular movements remained suspended for eight hours in the district.
The women's organisation enforced the blockade programme at 6:00am yesterday in protest at the local administration's decision refusing to let them use the town hall for a meeting.

The leaders said they had gone to the Rangamati municipality authorities for taking permission to hold the meeting at the town hall yesterday, marking the Kalpana Chakma Kidnapping Day, but the authorities refused them.

HWF announced the blockade on Friday at a press conference at United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) office at Kutukchhari in sadar upazila.

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