Sexual violence against indigenous women and girls is alarmingly continuing in the Chiitagong Hill Tracts (CHT), south-eastern part of Bangladesh. Eight indigenous Jumma women and girls came under sexual violence since August 2012. Besides, from January 2012 to June 2012, at least 36 indigenous women and girls (16 from the CHT and 20 from the plains) were victimised. Recent incident on violence against indigenous women and girls in CHT are as follows-
Three Jumma girls attempted to rape by an army soldier in Mahalchari
The girls informed the incident to an assistant teacher Mr. Pradip Kumar Chakma when they reached at the school and their guardians at their homes. The guardians of the girls informed chairman of Ultachari union on 17 October. The chairman also informed it to the Mahalchari zone commander Lt. Col. Shahidul Islam (8 Bir). Receiving the allegation, Mahalchari zone commander visited Ultachari camp on 17 October at 12 noon, taking Mahalchari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md. Shahed, Mahalchari Upazila chairman Sona Ratan Chakma and Lady Vice Chairman Kakali Khisa along with him. The Zone commander heard the statements of the three victims and their teachers at the camp and opined that the allegation against the soldiers was baseless. However, as the incident was just an attempt, the school teachers, students, guardians and local UP members and chairman requested camp commander to keep careful vigilance so that such incident will not be happened in future.
Indigenous Marma girl disability with speech attempted to rape by a Bengali settler in Rowangchari
On 3 October 2012 at mid-night an indigenous Marma girl disability with speech was attempted to rape by a Bengali settler named Md. Iliyas at Kaitharmukh Para of Rowangchari union under Rowangcharu upazila in Banbarban district. The villagers caught the culprit Md. Iliyas red handed and handed over to chairman of Rowangchari union Mr. Sahla Mong Marma. However, the guardians of the victim failed to file case with police station due to financial constraints and fearing further harassment.
A Jumma girl attempted to rape by a Bengali settler in Rajastali
On 2 October 2012 a 14-year old indigenous Tanchangya girl who is an English grade girl student of Gaindya High School was attempted to rape by her Bengali classmate at Gainda under Rajasthali upazila in Rangamati district.
It is learnt that on that day at around 8.00 am the victim took rest at the classroom of Gaindya High School as she was feeling illness while she was as usual going to private tutor. At around 9.30 am Ariful Islam (16) son of Emdadul Haq of Islampur area arrived school and finding the victim along, he grabbed her and tried to drag to nearby jungle. At this hour, some students including victim’s cousin Milan Tanchangya arrived there and rescued her. No sooner, the perpetrator Ariful Islam fled from this area.
The victim’s father named Sudhangshu Tanchangya from Longadu Punarbashan area under Gaindya union filed a case (No. 01, dated 02/10/2012) with Rajstali police station under section 10 of the Women and Child Repression Prevention Act 2003. The accused is yet to be arrested.
Indigenous Jumma housewife raped in Dighinala
On 18 September 2012 at 2.00 pm an indigenous Chakma housewife has been raped in Nalkata village under Kobakhali union under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari district.
It is learnt that the 25-year old was raped by Md. Azhar (25) son of Gofur Ali of North Milonpur in the same Union when she went up the hill nearby their house to herd their cows back to the barn. Azhar, who lay in wait, grabbed her from behind and raped her. She was left unconscious and was recovered later by her husband Chittigulo Chakma. Her husband recovered her with injury marks on her body which suggest that she might have struggled to extricate herself from what many described as the ‘beast’. She was at first admitted to Dighinala upazila hospital but later shifted to Khagrachari district hospital. A case was filed, but police did not arrest culprit.
An indigenous Marma girl allegedly attempted to rape by a security personnel in Kaptai
On 8 September 2012 at late night about 1:30 am about 19 years old an indigenous Jumma girl was attempted to rape by a member of military force named Md. Abu Eusuf (22) in Kaptai of Rangamati Hill District. The culprit Abu Eusuf, son of Md. Ibrahim Majumder of Boroichari-College gate area of Kaptai upazila under Rangamati Hill District was arrested by police, but later handed over to military authority.
It is learnt that the victim (Chomakhoi Marma), daughter of Mr. Monsala Marma and Mrs. Chincra Boang Marma of Toktanala village of Bilaichari upazila under Rangamati Hill District is a student of HSC second year of Karnofuli Degree College at Boroichari area of Kaptai upazila. She, with her two college friends, has been staying at Boroichari-College gate area for about a year renting a house from Md. Abu Eusuf family. Md. Abu Eusuf is a member of Bangladesh Army, working in Khagrachari Hill District area. Just 2/3 days back he came home on leave from Khagrachari.
On that day at mid night Md. Abu Eusuf broke into the room of the girl cutting the fence of house. At that time, he forcefully attempted to rape the girl and even tried to take her away from the room. At that moment, when the girl shouted out, her class mates and nearby people rushed to the room and right away the culprit fled the place.
It is learnt that on 9 September 2012 the young girl filed a case under Women and Children Suppression Prevention Act with Kaptai Police Station against Abu Eusuf.
It is learnt that on 9 September 2012 police arrested Abu Eusuf on the basis of the case filed by victim. But, later, Army Authority of Kaptai Brigade took Abu Eusuf into their custody. It is also learnt that after taking into Kaptai Brigade, Abu Eusuf was sent to Khagrachari.
On the other hand, on 11 September 2012 Bangladesh Marma Student Council (MBSC) organized a press conference at Rangamati town in this regard demanding punitive measure against the perpetrator.
An indigenous old women killed in Matiranga
On 22 August 2012 an 85-year old indigenous Phul Kumari Tripura w/o Kamala Kumar Tripura of Sudhina Ranjan Headman Para of Taindong mouza under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachari district.
It is learnt that Phul Kumari Tripura went out for fishing at near stream. As she was being late, relatives of the victim searched for her and found her lying dead from the stream near Sudhina Ranjan Headman Para which is closed to Bengali settlers’ locality. Local Jumma villagers believe that she might have been killed by Bengali settlers. Deep cut marks were found on her body.
An 11-year indigenous Tripura girl raped by a policeman in Dighinala
On 21 August 2012 an 11-year old indigenous Tripura girl was raped by a policeman at Ataltila Noymile area of Merung union under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari district while she was grazing cows near Ataltila police camp.
It is learnt that on that day at around 2.30 pm the victim along with her 8-year old sister from Tapan Karbari Para of Noymile undetr Merung union went out for grazing cows near Ataltila police camp at Noymile area. Keeping her sister at a place, the victim went to another area near police camp to collect vegetables. Finding her alone, Md. Rasel Rana, a constable of Ataltila police camp grabbed and raped her. The policeman struck her on the right hand and right leg with a stick before raping her.
Soon after returning home, the victim informed her mother Nitya Bala Tripura about the incident, who went to the police camp taking the victim with her and put objection to Md. Shaha Alam, the on-duty police officer of the Ataltila camp. However, Md. Shaha Alam proposed to victim’s mother to compromise the incident by giving her Taka 1000 ($ 12). Failing to get justice, Nityo Bala Tripura informed Tapan Tripura, the Karbari (head) of Noymile village and Tripura Students’ Forum leaders about the incident.
At a stage, the indigenous villagers gathered at the police camp and demanded to arrest the alleged policeman. Due to tremendous pressure from the local people, Shah Alam was compelled to close alleged culprit Md. Rasel Rana. But local people demanded arrest of alleged policeman. Nitya Bala Tripura filed a rape case (no. 3, date 21 August 2012) under section 9(1) of Women and Child Repression (Prevention) Act 2000 in the night on that day with Dighinala police station.
An indigenous Jumma woman killed allegedly by Bengali settlers in Rangamati
On 7 July 2012 just afternoon, a 45-year old indigenous Jumma woman was chopped to kill allegedly by Bengali settlers in Uluchara area under Rangamati municipality in Rangamati district. It is suspected that the victim might be killed after rape. The victim was identified as Ms. Bolimila Chakma w/o Durgamoni Chakma from Suguripadachara village of Bhushanchara union under Barkal upazila of Rangamati district.
It is learnt that Bolimila Chakma has come from Suguripadachara village of Barkal upazila to her uncle Rajani Chakma’s (Sara Bap) house at Uluchara vilage of Rangamati town for her treatment. On 7 July around 2.00 pm Bolimila Chakma went to a nearby stream around 400 feet away from her uncle’s house for taking a bath. As she did not return to house even after 2/3 hours, the relatives of victim went out for searching her. At a stage, at around 5:00 pm her relatives found the dead body of Bolimila Chakma in completely naked nearby the stream with deep cut on the neck and hands. The ear-ring and the necklace made of gold of the victim were also looted.
Source: Kapaeeng Foundation