Delhi’s Jantar Mantar today saw a protest which had a strong participation of Chakma women and also Buddhist Monks. Peace Campaign Group, Indian Support Group, and Indian Chakma Society had organized this protest.
The agitators were protesting against the recent violence in the district of Rangamati in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) which has drawn international condemnation from several human rights groups. However, India has not said anything on the recent violence which is eerily similar to the assault on minority Hindus during Diwali last year.
The peaceful protest began at 10 am and went on till 1 pm.
With slogans like ‘Stop Talibanization of Bangladesh’ and ‘Sheikh Hasina down down’, the group also submitted a memorandum to the government of India at the end, demanding that New Delhi should use its clout to stop Chakma persecution and a forced exodus from the CHT. Bangladesh military and police and their role was also criticized by speakers who demanded that the ‘settlers’ be sent back.
These were the demands of the Chakma protestors:
1.) To ask Dhaka to implement CHT Accord in letter and spirit.
2.) To provide relief and compensation to the survivors of the communal attacks and bring the perpetrators of violence against Chakmas to justice.
3.) To demilitarize CHT and withdraw temporary military camps.
4.) To stop the migration of the Bengali-speaking settlers into the indigenous areas of the CHT and to rehabilitate those Bengali-speaking settlers who are already settled in the CHT to their ‘original’ areas outside of this delicate region.
Many people from all walks of life joined the Chakma protest believing that the clamp down on media and rights group was unacceptable and requested New Delhi and Dhaka to heed to the demands of the Chakma protestors.