Fifteen human rights organizations from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have called for demonstrations in Dhaka to demand the quick rescue of two leaders of the Hill Women’s Federation, Monty and Doyasona Chakma, who were abducted 10 days ago.
The program was announced by the leaders of the organizations at the conference room of the National Press Club on Wednesday.
Speakers at the event said there is an undemocratic government in the country, and that there are regular violations of democratic processes. The government might be racking up plaudits in the field of economic and infrastructural development, but the safety and security of its citizens is in jeopardy.
They claimed the state has failed miserably in protecting its people, and the scariest part is that people are being abducted and murdered by the very members of the security agencies who are meant to protect them. The abduction of Monty and Doyasona is an ominous sign for the democratic people of the country, they added.
The speakers also said they were going to organize a demonstration from Raju Memorial Sculpture at the Dhaka University campus on April 2 followed by a citizen’s protest meeting at Shahbagh on April 6. If the authorities do not take heed of their demands after this, they will to resort to tougher programs.
Also Read- No trace of Hill Women’s Federation leaders for 9 days
Along with their demand for the rescue of the two Hill Women’s Federation leaders, the organizations are also demanding the arrest and prosecution of all those responsible for the abduction, the trial of every murder, rape, and abduction in the hill tracts and the plains, the protection of the democratic rights of the people, and the removal of the military authority from CHT.
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The meeting organized by the 15 organizations at National Press Club Bangla Tribune
Naari Mukti Kendra’s Seema Dutta; Socialist Women’s Forum’s Roushon Ara Rusho; Nari Sanghati’s Nasima Nazneen; Faisal Ahmed, Sarkar Al Imran, and Imran Habib Rumon from Student’s Federation were among those present at the event.
Mass condemnation of the incident
In light of multiple incidents of masked miscreants committing murders, abductions, and other crimes in the CHT over the years, a number of activists and prominent civil society members from various backgrounds have expressed their disapproval of the government’s inaction and called for the swift and unharmed rescue of the two federation leaders by signing an email petition.
These activists included the likes of Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury of University of Dhaka, eminent human rights activist Hamida Hossain, CHT Commission co-chair Sultana Kamal, Gonoshasthya Kendra Trustee Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Dhaka University Professor of Economics Anu Muhammad, renowned artists Dhali Al Mamoon and Dilara Begum Jolly, eminent photographer Shahidul Alam, and others.
On March 18, Hill Women’s Federation Central General Secretary Monty Chakma and Rangamati district branch General Secretary Doyasona Chakma were abducted by persons yet to be identified.
Sections of this article were first published on banglatribune.com