It is now nearly a year since a court order instructed the police to conduct a further investigation into the abduction and disappearance of Pahari activist, Kalpana Chakma, in 1996.
The 23- year -old was organising secretary of the Hill Women’s Federation (HWF) and had reportedly been campaigning for an election candidate when she was taken from her home village in Rangamati Hill District.
Although various allegations have been made, her kidnappers remain unidentified and she is presumed dead, having not been seen since.
In January 2013, the court rejected a “Final Report” submitted by the police on their investigation into Kalpana Chakma’s disappearance. Subsequently, the police superintendent of Rangamati Hill District was instructed to conduct a further and fuller investigation.
This was first supposed to be submitted by March 20 but the deadline was extended to May after administrative delays. The police superintendent is reported to be stating that it remains difficult to complete investigations and, to date, no new investigation report has been submitted.
In light of the more recent human rights concerns raised by members of the HWF, it should be an utmost priority for the police to complete their investigation into Kalpana Chakma’s disappearance. The government should provide more resources as required to bring long overdue progress to this investigation.