Bangladesh: International commission condemns killing of indigenous woman
On February 18 the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) condemned the killing of an indigenous woman in Kagrachari on February 15. The commission called upon the Government to ensure justice by providing exemplary punishment to the perpetrators. The Commission further stressed the point that the Government should undertake immediate and effective measures to stop the continued violation of basic rights of indigenous people, including right to life, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
According to a statement issued by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission on February 15, 2014, a 30-year-old indigenous woman Sabita Chakma was allegedly raped and murdered by a group of settlers at Chengi Char area of Kamalchari Union under Khagrachari Sadar Upazila of Khagrachari district in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). Sabita was attacked when she went to the nearby Chengi River to collect fodder for cattle in the morning.When she had not returned by lunch time her husband along with some villagers went to look for her and found her disrobed dead body at 17:30 in a field near Chengi Char. It is suspected that day-labourers who were collecting sand onto a truck near the field where her body was found may have killed Sabita Chakma. Sabita’s husband, Debaratan Chakma, filed a case at the Khagrachari Police Station against truck driver Mohammad Nizam and four others and police took the dead body to Khagrachari Sadar Hospital that evening for autopsy. Systematic violence against indigenous women According to the CHTC the attack is not an isolated attack on an indigenous woman in post-Accord CHT. Violence against indigenous women, including sexual harassment, intimidation, rape and murder sexual assault against indigenous women occur with frightening regularity in the CHT, marred by impunity to settlers and security forces. I the press statement the CHTC say that the State has failed to prevent the attacks against indigenous women even after the peace Accord between United Peoples Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Bangladeshi Government has been in effect. Despite having heavy presence of security forces in the CHT they have failed to protect indigenous people from attacks and in bring perpetrators to justice. The Government signed the Accord in 1997 and it has been in power since January 2009 but has failed to implement the Accord and prevent violence against indigenous people and protect the rights of the minority communities all over the country.