Santoshita Chakma Bakul (Jumma refugee leader, with spectacle and half shirt), Mozammel Haque Tara (Bangladesh Workers Party's central committee member), Sudhasindhu Khisa (JSS co-chair), Khelu Aung (PCP central committee general secretary), Ananta Bihari Khisa (prominent social worker and educationist), Nirapad Talukdar (vice chairman, Khagarachari Sadar upazila), Sudhakar Tripura (JSS Khagarachari district committee president) and Advocate Saktiman Chakma (JSS central committee member with red stripped shirt).
Police ‘arrested’ all public jeeps in Panchari Upazila of Khagarachari Hill District today. This information sounds laughing, as men and women are arrested by Police, but it practically happened today in Panchari and Mohalchari Upazilas.
The CHT Voice started receiving information since 6.45 am today on the Police excesses in Khagarachari Hill District today. Panchari and Mohalchari Police Stations seized all the public jeeps and a few buses early in the morning today and taken to Panchari Police Station and Mohalchari Police Station compounds; the reason is nothing but to foil the public gathering organised by JSS at Khagarachari town on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Ragib Ahsan Munna, ex-VP, Rajshahi University Central Student Union (RUCSU) and Central Committee Member, Bangladesh Workers Party (centre, with green panjabi and white payjama) is seen at backstage at the venue, Surjyashikha Club, Mohajanpara, Khagarachari, engaged in exchange of views with JSS leaders on the CHT issues.
At around 7.00am the leaders of JSS, Panchari Thana chapter went to police station and wanted to know the reason of seizure of jeeps. The reply was very simple that all the jeeps had no necessary papers to ply. Then the JSS leaders tried to make the police authority understand that there will be unnecessary law and order problem as the public started coming to roadside to attend the programme at Khagarachari. The police did not pay any heed to the opinion. Then the JSS instantly declared road blockade on the Khagarachari-Panchari road. It worked and after 45 minutes jeeps had been released.
The Mohalchari Thana police also gave stern order to the transport association of Mohalchari last night so that they abstain from carrying public for the JSS Khagarachari programme. 7 public jeeps had been seized early in the morning. However, sensing the police move a few jeep drivers had been able flee from the seizure. The Mohalchari Police, later argued to the JSS, the jeeps had been seized under a mobile court drive failing to produce necessary papers. The Mohalchari JSS instantly called a morning to evening road blockade programme on the Rangamati-Mohalchari-Khagarachari road. However, it was withdrawn at around 1.00 PM considering the serious difficulties of the public.
Similarly, to foil this programme the police of Ramgarh Thana stopped transports at Ramgarh and the police of Matiranga Thana stopped jeeps on the Matiranga-Khagarachari road which were going to Balyachari to fetch the public for the public programme scheduled at Khagarachari.However, they released the jeeps when the JSS' student activists told that the police move would invite law and order problems.
Headquarter police station of Khagarachari Hill District also stopped a fleet of JSS vehicles at Rajyamunipara, southern part of Khagarachari Bazar, vehicles coming from Betchari, Bhuachari and Kamolchari. They meeting goers with these vehicles had also been stopped by police personnel so that they could not go to the meeting.
It has been gathered from different police stations in Khagarachari Hill District that they started receiving instructions from the office of the Superintendent of Police, Khagarachari so that opposition is offered by seizuring of public vehicles. Dighinala police station also received this instruction last evening and tried to convince his authority that there would be peaceful programme and the police action would invite unrest in the area. He did not stop public vehicles. The Bengali Muslim owners did not give their transports to carry JSS’ supporters to go to JSS’ Dighinala programme.
The JSS led by Sudhasindhu Khisa, Rupayan Dewan and Tatindra Lal Chakma (known as Maj. Pele) organised four public programmes today at Khagarachari (for Chengi valley), Dighinala sadar (for Maini valley), Matiranga sadar (for Feni valley) and Marishya or Baghaichari Upazila sadar (for Kassalong valley). In Rangamati town there has been a programme to mark this day under the banner of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum.