Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today intervened with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Head of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) against deployment of Lt. Col. Abdul Alim Chowdhury in any future United Nations Peace Keeping Operations for his role in the communal attacks on indigenous Jumma peoples at Longudu, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) of Bangladesh. ACHR also urged Lacroix to ensure that Officer-In-Charge (OC) of Longudu police station Mominul Islam is also not deployed for any Civil Police duty of the UN peacekeeping missions.
In an organised communal attack on the indigenous Jumma peoples of Longudu under Rangamati district of the CHTs on 2nd June, the houses of more than 250 Jummas or over 94% of the total houses in the four affected villages were burnt to ashes. Six indigenous Jummas namely Mr Buddha Kinkor Chakma and his wife of 65 years, Mrs Buro Mila Chakma (70 years), Mr Provat Chandra Chakma, 70 years and his 60 years old wife and Mr Nil Krishnama Chakma, 70 years of Batya Para village under Longudu Sadar could not flee because of old age and were killed by the illegal plain settlers. In addition, the office of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), the signatory to the 1997 CHTs Peace Accord was destroyed.
The communal attacks took place after the Longudu based 2nd East Bengal Regiment of the Bangladesh Army and the Bangladesh Police in the area gave permission to the Bengali speaking illegal Muslim settlers to hold a procession with the dead body of one Nurul Islam Nayan, a passenger motorcycle driver, whose dead body was recovered around noon on 1st June at 4 mile area on Khagrachari-Dighinala road. The Bengali speaking illegal Muslim settlers spread the rumour that he was killed by Jumma indigenous peoples who had hired the deceased’s motorcycle.
Longodu Zone Commander of Bangladesh Army Lt. Col. Abdul Alim Choudhury and Officer-In-Charge (OC) of Longudu police station Mominul Islam gave provocative speeches and effectively supervised the communal attacks.
“We have provided the photographic evidence of Longudu Zone Commander Lt. Col. Abdul Alim Chowdhury psc and Officer-In-Charge (OC) of Longudu police station Mominul Islam actively participating and delivering hate speech in the demonstration of the illegal plain settlers on 2nd June 2017 at Longudu. The Human Rights Screening of United Nations Personnel of 2012 requires that officers like Abdul Alim Choudhury and Mominul Islam are not deployed for the UN missions.” –stated Paritosh Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
The Longudu Police filed a case against 15 known persons and 300 unknown persons. Bangladesh Police claimed that seven people have so far been arrested for the arson attack. However, no action has been initiated against the masterminds of the attacks that include Lt Col. Abdul Alim Choudhury and Officer-in-Charge of Mominul Islam.
Attacks on the peaceful Jumma protestors by Bangladesh Army and police
On the other hand, on 4th June the Bangladesh army and Police attacked peaceful protesters of Pahari Chatra Parishad (PCP), Hill Women’s Federation and Democratic Youth Forum at Dhiginala who were peacefully taking out a protest march against the Longudu attacks. The Bangladesh army and police arrested PCP Dhiginala President Niti Moy Chakma (Nikel) and its General Secretary Jiban Chakma.
The attacks on the peaceful protestors can be seen in the video.