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Thursday, March 10, 2011

CHT Army pullout goes on following accord 260 camps already withdrawn

Daily Sun, Dhaka, extra, March 10, 2011


CHT Army pullout goes on following accord
260 camps already withdrawn

→ Jasim Uddin Majumder, back from CHT

Chittagong: In continuation of the process of army pullout from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), the government withdrew three temporary army check posts in two upazilas in Khagrachhari last month.

Of them, Zeromile army camp of Sadar upazila was withdrawn and attached with Sadar zone while Bichitala and Maischhari check posts were withdrawn and attached with Mohalchhari army zone, sources confirmed.

With these, 260 security camps have so far been withdrawn from different areas in Chittagong Hill Tracts as per the CHT peace accord the government signed with Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghity Samity (PCJSS) in 1997.

In a major development towards implementing the CHT peace accord the government withdrew a huge brigade of troops and 35 temporary security camps from the CHT last year (2010), the sources added.

After withdrawal of 260 camps, some 200 camps remain which are also expected to be withdrawn in phases, they said.

As per the peace accord all the temporary security camps along with troops are to be withdrawn excluding the three cantonments in Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati district headquarters and those in Alikadam and Ruma upazilas in Bandarban and Dighinala in Khagrachhari hill district, said the sources.

Dighinala army zone would be developed as the Division headquarters of Khagrachhari. Development of infrastructure and other required facilities are going on in full swing and is expected to be completed by December this year, they said.

After signing the accord members of Shanti Bahini, the armed wing of PCJSS, surrendered arms to the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina putting an end to a long-drawn insurgency in the CHTs.

After assuming power in January, 2009 the AL-led grand alliance government again started working on the implementation of the CHT Peace Accord.

The government formed a national committee with Deputy Leader of Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury as its chairperson for implementation of the accord in the first week of May 2009.

It also activated CHT Land Commission headed by retired high court justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury on July 1, 2009 and reconstituted Refugee affairs taskforce headed by law maker from Khagrachhari constituency Jatindra Lal Tripura on August 27, 2009.

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