Bangladesh: Netizens protest human rights abuse in the hills

Posted on | april 24, 2011 | 3 Comments

Settlements in the hills. Image by Flickr user Chittagong Hill Tracts. Over the years they have become vulnerable minorities.

Although outnumbered by the Bengali population, the close to one million indigenous and aboriginal population of Bangladesh live mainly in the

During the 1970s and 80s, the government took steps to resettle Bengali homeless people in the three hilly districts of Bangladesh. There were resistances and insurgency by the local indigenous people and these previously tourist places became a protected militarized zone.

For decades Bengali settlers and soldiers have been accused of human rights violations against the tribal minorities while members of the Shanti Bahini and other rebel indigenous groups have committed similar violations, including the massacre of unarmed Bengali settlers. The 1997 Peace Treaty with Shanti Bahini granted a limited level of autonomy and stemmed the violence but the problem was not solved.

Recently ethnic violences sparked again and news media reported that four Bengali settlers were killed and 50 others were injured in Ramgarh on Sunday April 17, 2011. According to a statement by Amnesty International:

The latest round of tensions began on 14 April when a group of Bengali settlers occupied and tried to plant crops on areas within the Jumma’s ancestral lands, in Khagrachari District in south-eastern Bangladesh. After three Bengali settlers were killed on 17 April, allegedly by Jumma people, settlers looted surrounding indigenous villages and injured people, burning at least 60 homes.

Indigenous sources say they informed the local authorities – including the army, which has a heavy presence in the area – of the settlers’ movements, but they failed to act on the information.

The voices of the indigenous people are rarely heard in the mainstream media but through the Internet – blogs and Facebook – they have found a platform from which to be heard. In the Facebook group CHT Voice people have been wondering why only the casualties of Bengali settlers are being reported. Radhamon wrote:

News are being filtered, and media is BIASED. They DONT LIE, but they DONT TELL THE TRUTH.

A new blog called CHT News Update has this question:

Bangladeshi mainstream media has been overflown with biased news about Ramgarh incident. The journalists try to retain objectivity in their news. However, all news articles are being filtered by the security forces before they get published and thus the public is not made aware of the real story. If you look at the the Bangladeshi dailies, you will see news and pictures of injured and dead Bengali settlers. How come they never dare to publish the pictures of these injured Indigenous people?

Blogger and journalist Biplob Rahman writes at the Indigenous Bangla Blog [bn]:

Those who have tried to gather news on their own initiative, have learnt that although the majority of casualties are Bengalis but they were the first attackers. The indigenous people have tried to resist with their scanty resources. Not only that, the cause of the violence, the land dispute, was generated as the Bengali settlers tried to grab the lands of the indigenous Marmas living there.

Unheard Voice blog posts a round up of mainstream media news and also some news, images and video obtained via email.

Another blog CHTBD.Net is reporting that the number of houses of locals burnt are 95, and 4 indigenous persons are confirmed missing. In an interview Polen Chakma describes how he escaped death on April 17.

Anandi Kalyan quotes one of her friend’s Facebook messages to describe [bn] how these incidents are accumulating hatred against Bengalis amongst the indigenous people:

There are unrests in the hills for decades. Let alone the statistics quoted in the media, I know from personal connections that my indigenous friends are victims one way or another. When I went to visit places like Bandarban, Rangamati, Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar I saw that many businesses and settlements are owned by Bengalis. Those who are aboriginal there are cornered now. The hills have become agitated yet again and we are reading reports on attacks against Bengali settlers. The repressions against the indigenous people are being blacked out.

When I speak with my aboriginal friends hatred are forming inside them because of our land grabbing mentality. My friend, who remained apolitical over the years now also think of armed resistance.

We should not only think about the Chittagong Hill Tracts as an ‘awesome’ touristic place. To what extent we think about the well beings of the indigenous people living there?

Blogger and Journalist Arif Jebtik writes [bn]:

There comes a time when civil societies have to stand on their feet and boldly say the truth. The situation on the hills is demanding the same from us. The hills are for the people of the hills, you cannot hide the truth trying to impose logics of political science. The politicians have resettled homeless Bengalis in those hills. They had to build settlements for them and had to deploy army for their security. The problem starts here. We at the same time have endangered homeless Bengalis, our security forces and of course the indigenous people.

The only way to solve all problems persisting in the hills is to remove all the Bengali settlers.

AUTHOR: Rezwan
E-MAIL: i_rezwan [at]


3 Responses to “Bangladesh: Netizens protest human rights abuse in the hills”

  1. Nadia
    mei 31st, 2011 @ 14:56


    Child rights abuse; lack of proper investigation; impunity. Several organizations were foiled by the man-in-uniform.
    ———————————— pls. ensure it is represented to the rightful.

    House no. 212, Ulan Road, West Rampura a mere boy of 7 called Alamin (Russell) is being run as a slave by a crime committing couple Bilu, & Monir known for their abominable acts is insulated by Bilu’s brother Lt. Col. Rashidul Alom, posted to RAB-1 as the Commanding Officer whose assistance retained the boy from education except teaching him immeasurable skills of wrongdoings for example his behavior no longer personifies a normal kid but rather a deranged one generally generating disruptions in front of public lacking total control of himself. They certainly trained well, now he has a mind of his own not requiring further instructions he performs to their demands without being told. 8:00am in the morning till 12:00am at midnight he keeps on toiling. Bilu, happens to be recorded as a notoriously perverted character there is no telling what she does with the child. Often he is seen on the riskily roof top ridge walking to fetch their pigeon.-once not long ago a working boy had fallen from their 3rd flr. sunshade onto their pointed steel grille boundary wall, his face was slashed opened especially his mouth ripped apart his tongue was lolling out, blood gushing. Neighboring bostee people helped remove him away. Information has it he died, but it was never inquired by Police…Why? But why not? As the redeemer-Lt. Col Rashid was not afar to cover it up once and for all. Suspicious transactions are observed, indicting to drug dealing maneuvered by the lad. Thieving hasn’t been left out not to mention an expert liar & role-player. Lately he has executed an unforgivable delinquency by poisoning 6pet dogs.

    Alleged: Perpetrators:
    1) Bilu (a crime committing syndicate is united in Ulon led by self-proclaimed Matabars Sheeru,
    Shaulluddin &momean 3 bros sheltering and creating criminals making a sanctuary)
    2)Monir Uddin Ahmed
    Note: Due to the reprisals from the syndicate everyone turned into statues not risking to crack, but feigning testifiers are abundant keeping reserved surveillance round the clock.

    3)Lt Col. Rashidul Alom Dir. RAB-1

    Time is running out….
    An in-depth investigation will reveal a Pandora’s box.
    The Boy Must be taken away from the accursed residence were malevolence dwells.
    Immediately he should be brought into the limelight until further harmful damage is done to others and himself.
    And the defaulters are punished by arresting and bringing before the court of Law.

    I look forward to hearing from you and to discussing, in details the matter in hand.

    PS. Even though he has professionally(!) poisoned 6 repeat 6 of my pet dogs in a row, i want him to get a chance of becoming a responsible human being with sense and sensibility. I personally don’t accuse him of this carnage rather sympathize for…after all the folks he is associated with can turn even an Angel into Lucifer with little or no effort. In the event any child protective social worker interrogates the boy Bilu recently has taught him some English words like Wow, God, Yeah, Very Good, and the poem of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as an eyewash.

    Following the death of Zavier Jr. – one of my pet dogs, on my frantic call, Police arrived at the crime site, made arrangements for an on-line GD categorically suspecting 4 juveniles (GD Num:1019. dtd:22/5/2010), did things necessary to take out the body for a formal autopsy . It was also visited by a group of journalists and got aired on Channel-i TV at 10:30pm. highlighting “A family of 3, having made several GDs to the local P.S., for obvious reasons, yield no results whatsoever” due to the intervention of that long handed syndicate of self proclaimed Matbars keeping them in isolation from the society as an outcast, trying to banish them from their own home so that their property can be grabbed! from then on the boy Alamin, was absconding & in hideout for over a month until apparently the green signal was waved by that “Khaki” who also had the postmortem report distorted…. one more feather on his hat of misusing his post & position….! But the boy is back with rejuvenation and started from where he left off. Now he threatens us in Hindi “Mardalunga- I will Kill You. Recently on the basis of his mistress’s order (Bilu) he poured Boiling Hot Water from their rooftop barely missing me out miraculously, pelting stones on top of us, garbage is not to be excluded out.

  2. Nadia
    mei 31st, 2011 @ 14:57

    Bilu, a Godmother to the hoodlums of the area, wife to Monir Uddin Ahmed (a compulsive criminal) of 212 Ulon Rd. West Rampura an influential member of a crime committing syndicate. Is insulated by her brother Lt. Col. Rashidul Alom RAB-1 Co providing various unlawful assistance exercising Bilu to tell the street punks not to worry /fret because in such a short time they will be released from police/rab custody so carrying on to whatever wrongdoing you like. A recorded pervert abusing child laborers. Mostly RAB-1 vehicle accompanied by uniform men is seen to be stationed near her gate resulting in severe traffic jam if anybody objects Bilu evaporate that this is her car belonging to none other than RAB so beware. RAB vehicle is mostly used by her and her mother for doubtful transaction indicting to Drug dealing & smuggled goods. Lt. Col. Rashidul Alom NEEDS to be reprimanded to the extent of a Court Martial. proving nobody is above Law for the vile things he has done so far and is still continuing.

  3. Nadia
    mei 31st, 2011 @ 14:58

    Sub: A reproach against an Army Lt. Col. and some of colleagues who have been selling out the power of their uniforms providing multifarious assistance to a diehard syndicate responsible for committing abominable crimes that made our lives virtually unlivable.

    Lt Col. Rashidul Alom, Dir. RAB-1, has been insulating his relatives (monir) and a crime committing syndicate involved in land grabbing, lake filling, harboring creating criminals, selling drugs, bribery blackmailing, prostitution, vandalizing, extortion, loan-sharking, encouraging building code violation, oppressing, attacking and ruining a renowned family….led by 3bros (self-proclaimed Matabars Sheeru Shaulldin, Momean. They have satanically persecuted us for 7dissapated long years by keeping us from earning a living, stopping our source of income, garbling our land records, keeping us under watch round the clock, bringing mobs on hire to scare abuse us ruining our social status calling us insane to take away our credibility, not allowing and allowed other to mix with us, throwing full-sized bricks onto our tin-shed roof like hailstorm, bugging our phones and many more….to many departments we went to for assistance to no succor obviously Lt. Col. Rashid hampered its operation deactivating. Even phoning up to have the transgressors released from prison.

    Prior to the happenings Major Rashedul ALom came most frequently to Monir’s building with RAB-1 sticker posted on an extensive vehicle loaded with uniformed men in full gear moving around our house with walkie-talkies in hand and getting inside 2121’s building feasting on the 3rd flr. Just for the sake of showdown.. I distinctly remember marauding/myriad of times doubtful activities in momentum when Lt. Col. Rashid came veiling RAB-1 in font as a cover up to bring in/out luggages/briefcases inside 212’s building or putting within the cars of a black Nissan marked RAB-1 Dhaka Metro Gho 02-3303, Dhaka Metro Go 17-8548 and Dhaka Metro GA 174645 . What’s inside the carriers certainly no smelly undergarments? Times of Major’s visitation invigoration swept fashioning the street urchins taking their shirts off and dangling, dancing dauntingly with ear shattering music played on deck in the street while the syndicate members came out marching to the band.

    Observably Rashid is harboring presently a criminally attitudinized male specimen that happens to be a relative Babon son of Monir & Bilu a crime committing couple. For days he was unseen till suspiciously Rashid’s car D M GA 174645 shoved him inside. Question is who authorized him for misappropriation of government vehicle for his personal gain? A neutral investigation will reveal an exclusive array of Rashid’s role play as an insulator of crime and an ally of injustice.

    PS this is just a tip of the iceberg….

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