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Khagrachhari blockaded over arrest of Adivasi leader

  • Published at 12:38 pm January 4th, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:43 am January 5th, 2017
Khagrachhari blockaded over arrest of Adivasi leader
The blockade was called for immediate release of Laksmichhari Upazila Chairman Super Jyoti Chakma, who was arrested on Monday. Night buses from Dhaka entered Khagrachhari with police escorts but no vehicles left for Dhaka or Chittagong from Khagrachhari. All sorts of vehicles were grounded at the district bus terminal because of the blockade. Convener of Laksmichhari Upazila Chairman Mukti Parishad Aungyo Marma thanked the protesters for peacefully observing the blockade. Super Jyoti was reportedly arrested for illegal possession of a firearm. Sub-Inspector Mofizul Hasan immediately filed a case against him with the Laksmichhari police station under section 19(Ka) of Arms Act, 1978. The United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF), Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), Hill Women’s Federation (HWF), Nirbachito Jummo Pratinidhi Parishad and Laksmichhari Upazila Chairman Mukti Parishad have been protesting against the arrest of Super Jyoti and demanded his immediate release. Aungyo Marma alleged that Super Jyoti had been arrested without any reason but the police said they had found arms and ammunition in his possession. He urged the government to release Super Jyoti immediately. Khagrachhari Superintendent of Police Md Abdul Mojid said additional police force was deployed throughout the district. SP Mojid said the protest ended peacefully with only a few sporadic incidents. General Secretary of Paribohon Malik Samity SM Shafi said pickets set fire to a truck in Gochhabil area under Manikchhari upazila and damaged the windows of three vehicles at Ramgorh and Mohalchhari. Aungyo Marma alleged three pickets, namely Ujai Marma, Sumon Marma and Thuiri Marma were detained by Manikchhari police during picketing. He urged the police to release them immediately. UPDF condemns attack on protesters Earlier, UPDF issued a press release on Tuesday condemning the alleged attack on their rally and peaceful protest by law enforcers and Bangali settlers. UPDF held a rally and demonstration in Khagrachhari to demand the release of the Laksmichhari Upazila Chairman Super Jyoti Chakma. UPDF Convener Sachib Chakma strongly condemned the attack on behalf of his party. He further asked people to boycott Laksmichhari Bazar indefinitely to protest the attack. In the press release, Sachib said: “Our supporters on their way to join the protest on Tuesday were suddenly attacked with sticks and bricks by law enforcers near the Dhurong bridge area in Jurgachhri.” The protest programme was organised by Sacheton Nagorik Shomaj, Parbattyo Chattagram Nari Sangha, Pahari Chhattra Parishad and Democratic Youth Forum. Sachib said the attack sent most of the supporters fleeing while the rest were chased away by law enforcers. The protesters were attacked again by law enforcers on their way home. The press briefing reports more than one hundred indigenous people were injured in the two-prong attacks by the law enforcers and Bangali settlers. Sachib termed the attacks barbaric saying: “The attacks were premeditated to prevent the hill-tract people from raising their voices to protest against the false accusations and wrongful arrest of Super Jyoti Chakma.” In the press release Sachib demanded the arrest of the attackers and immediate release of Super Jyoti Chakma to bring back peaceful atmosphere in the area.
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