25 years of Chittagong Hill Tract signing will be completed on December 2. But after the Sikh century, the agreement was not fully implemented. According to the government, out of 72 articles of the agreement, 48 articles have been fully implemented and 15 articles have been partially implemented. According to Chittagong Hill Tracts People’s Association, the other signatory of the agreement, only 25 of the 72 clauses have been implemented, 18 clauses have been partially implemented. The remaining 29 sections are not fully implemented. As a result, along with various repressions in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the violence against women is increasing alarmingly.
On Thursday (November 24) at the Daily Star Center in the capital, these things came up in the discussion titled ‘Government’s indifference to the implementation of the 25-year agreement of Chittagong Hill Tracts: Security crisis of hill tribes and women’. Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, Kapeng Foundation jointly organized this seminar on the occasion of 25 years of Chittagong Hill Tracts Agreement.
A member of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission and the coordinator of Nivira Kari Khushi Kabir presented articles on the occasion, Executive Director Meghna Guthakurta and Rani Yen Yen, Advisor to the Chakma Circle Chief, presented the essays at the event. The article points out that more than two centuries have passed, but the agreement has not been fully implemented. Human rights violations are still happening in the mountains. Violence against indigenous women is on the rise. Tribal women in Chittagong Hill Tracts are subjected to various forms of torture including rape, attempted rape, murder after rape, physical and mental torture, marriage for trafficking and kidnapping.
Citing information from various sources, the article highlights that from January to December 2021, there were 24 incidents of violence against hill tribal women and children. Of these, 11 cases of rape, one case of gang rape, nine cases of attempted rape and 3 cases of murder after rape. Such crimes involve law enforcement and security forces obstructing justice for victims’ families and in many cases impunity for those who demand justice.
Former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Professor Mizanur Rahman, Dhaka University teacher Professor Sadeka Halim, Jahangirnagar University teacher Dr. Ainun Nahar, LRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda and Kapeng Foundation Executive Director Pallab Chakma.
One of the challenges in the implementation of the Hill Accord was the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land-Restriction Settlement Commission Act, 2001. But it is ineffective. Although this Act was enacted in 2001, it took 15 years to amend some sections of the Act as they conflicted with the Mountain Agreement. Referring to the matter, Mizanur Rahman said that although the ‘Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Settlement Commission Act-2001’ was amended in 2016, the rules of this Act have not been finalized yet. As a result, almost 22,000 applications submitted to the commission in two phases are not getting any progress. Siki centuries of hill covenants passed. But the state did not keep its word. Rangamati has turned grey. It would have been more red (beautiful) if the contract had been implemented.
The Mountain Accord was signed in 1997 during the Awami League government. Pallab Chakma believes that despite being in power for fourteen years since 2009, due to the indifference of the government in the implementation of the agreement, the expected peace has not yet returned to the Chittagong Hill Tracts.