Arson attack in Longudu: protest demonstration in front of the Australian Parliament House

Arson attack in Longudu: protest demonstration in front of the Australian Parliament House

Press Release

Arson attack on four Jumma indigenous villages in Longudu, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh and protest demonstration in front of the Australian Parliament House

On 2 June 2017, a communal arson attack by state sponsored settlers, with the support of the Bangladesh military and Bangladesh police, destroyed and burnt into ashes 244 houses in indigenous Jumma villages (Tintila, Battya Para, Kattoltola and Manikbi Chhora) at Longudu Upazilla, Rangamati. 70 year old Guna Bala Chakma was reported burnt alive, while many are still missing. Hundreds, including children and the elderly, are without food and shelter in this time of the rainy season.

Background to the Violence

On 1 June 2017, the body of a Longudu resident, Md. Nurul Islam, was found in the Char Mile area of Dighinala Upazilla, Khagrachari district. Fearing for their safety, indigenous representatives of Longudu met with local military and civil administrators, including Longodu Zone Commander of the Bangladesh Army Lt. Col. Abdul Alim Choudhury and Officer-In-Charge (OC) of Longudu police station Mominul Islam.

Instead of taking preventative action, these two officers allegedly made provocative speeches to the mass gathering of illegal settlers on 2 June 2017. Looting and arson of villages occurred even after the imposition of a Section 144 curfew at 12:00 noon. Newspaper sources and the police report confirm that the mob was armed with knives and sticks, and that some had petrol, indicating that it was a pre-planned attack. Following the arson attack, on 7 June in the Khagrachari district of the CHT security forces attacked and arrested Hill Women Federation’s peaceful demonstrators who were protesting against the Longudu arson attack and restating their long standing demand for the arrest of the abductors of Hill Women Federation leader Kalpana Chakma on 12 June 1996.

Independent Investigation Needed

Australian Jummas are calling for the Bangladesh government to carry out an impartial judicial investigation into both the killing of Md. Nurul Islam and the subsequent violence against indigenous villagers, including the role of the security forces, in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Canberra Protest Planned

A protest against human rights violations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Bangladesh is to be held at 11:00 Tuesday 13 June 2017 at the Assembly Area of the Parliament House. About 100 demonstrators are expected to join the protest and a number of Australian Federal Parliamentarians, academics and human rights activists have confirmed to address in solidarity to the protest against the atrocities and human rights violation.

Contact Persons:

CHT Indigenous Jumma Association Australia (CHTIJAA)

Kabita Chakma 04 03 392 342
Abhilash Tripura 04 70 275 971
Ajoy Chakma 04 11 063 379

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  1. Ranjit
    Ranjit 13 June, 2017, 01:08

    Stop racism, atrocities violence against minorities in Bangladesh. We want peace in Bangladeshi society. we demand justice in this regard.

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