Human Rights Forum Bangladesh on Wednesday demanded trail of perpetrators through neutral and fair investigation into the arson attack on national minorities at Langadu in Rangamati.
At a press conference at National Press Club, the forum of 19 rights organisations also called for accountability of administration, law enforcement agencies and army through analysing their roles in the arson attack.
An elderly woman was killed and several hundred houses of ethnic minorities were burnt by local Bengali.
‘As no fair investigation was carried out into the arson attacks on indigenous people in Chittagong hill tracts in the past, we are sceptic about a real investigation this time too’, said Ain O Salis Kendra executive director Shipa Hafiz.
‘We want a thorough investigation into all the aspects – who the perpetrators are and what the role of administration, police and army was’, she said.
Following visit to the affected villages, the forum prepared a report that said that the Bengalis sweepingly accused the ethnic monitories of the murder of Juba League leader Nurul Islam Nayan and torched the houses of ethnic monitories as a collective punishment.
It said the administration and law enforcers took no measure to save the national minorities despite being informed.
The report said the police did not acknowledge the death of old woman Gunamala Chakma, who was burnt alive in the house of Langadu union parishad chairman Kulin Mitra Chakma, as police said the bones collected from the debris could be of animals.
It alleged that there were army patrol team and police behind the procession of Bengalis who dared to torch the houses of ethnic minorities in their presence.
‘The Bengalis were helped directly and indirectly to carry out the mayhem’, the report said.
The investigation found that the arson victims were passing days inhumanly at different shelters.
The forum demanded compensation and rehabilitation of the arson victims.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong demanded steps from the government to reduce the mistrust that developed between Bengalis and national minorities.
Kapaeeng Foundation executive director Pallab Chakma demanded mixed police force comprising Bengalis and national minorities in the CHT.