Leaders and activists of PCJSS-backed Parbatya Chattagram Pahari Chhatra Parishad brought out a procession in Rangamati town Friday ahead of its 28th anniversary and 22nd central council Saturday.
CHT-based indigenous political group PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti) chief Jyotirindra Bodhipriyo Larma, better known as Santu Larma, will inaugurate the programme.
Santu Larma is also the chairman of the CHT Regional Council.
The main slogan of this year’s event is building resistance against those who oppose the implementation of the CHT Accord, also dubbed as Peace Accord, and waging movement for the full materialisation of the agreement.
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The procession began from the PCJSS district office and ended at the same place after parading the streets.
PCJSS central leader Udayan Tripura and PCP’s central President Bachchu Chakma took part in the procession among others.
Members of the PCJSS surrendered to the Awami Leauge government and signed the historic CHT Accord in 1997 that ended a decade-long armed conflict.
The council is taking place at a time when the army and the law enforcers are carrying out raids in the three hill districts and have arrested a number of UPDF-backed PCP leaders for their alleged involvement in crimes.
A PCP leader of Rangamati's Naniarchar, Romel Chakma, died last month at a hospital, two weeks after he was detained by the army. The UPDF has demanded a judicial inquiry into Romel's death.
The National Human Rights Commission is investigating the matter.
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After his death, several national dailies claimed quoting unnamed army sources that the UPDF and other indigenous political groups were trying to destabilise the CHT through carrying out murders, abductions and extortion with the help of Myanmar-based radical Buddhist groups.
Local police could not confirm authenticity of the information.
On the other hand, the Bangali settlers’ groups have been demanding that the CHT Accord be scrapped and the government declare ban the PCJSS and the UPDF terming them terrorist groups.
They also blame the indigenous political groups for hatching a “devious plan” to dismember the CHT from the rest of the country.
Parbatya Chhatagram Somo Odhikar Andolon, Parbatya Bangali Chhatra Parishad and Parbatya Nagarik Parishad, platforms of Bangali people linked to different political parties, are leading the anti-adivasi movement, apparently without any obstruction from the administration, law enforcers and ruling party supporters.
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They have been staging demonstrations and enforcing shutdowns on a regular basis, and campaigning online and offline to drum up public support against the indigenous people’s demands, which includes solution to the land disputes.