News & Information From Northeast India

Chakma tribes observe black day in Tripura

Along with Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, Chakma tribesmen in Tripura observed ‘black day’ to commemorate the tragedy of their inclusion in the then East Pakistan by demarcation commission of Indo-Pakistan boundary before partition on August 17.

The Chakma and nine other tribal clans in Chittagong hill tracts of present Bangladesh had wanted to be included in India due to their Hindu and Buddhist identity. The Pakistanis did not allow making it happen. From August 17 to 20 in1947 the national flag of India had flown atop the royal palace in Rangamati as the people expected the area to be included in India but Pakistan army proceeded to pull down the flag.

The entire hill region of Chittagong was awarded to East Pakistan to give a port outlet and the darkness of hell came down on the tribal people, said agitating Chakma leaders adding that both in East Pakistan and in Bangladesh subsequently the tribal population in Chittagong suffered immensely with forced and sponsored resettling of Muslim population from the plain land by successive Bangladesh governments.

The Chakma leaders claimed that in 1947 their population in Chittagong was about 97.5 percent and has now been reduced to a minority. Their land is being taken away, people are being killed and tortured and womenfolk are also being persecuted in different occasions.

“Since 1964 thousands of Chakma people have migrated to India following persecution in Chittagong and settled down mostly in Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. We have got a district council in Mizoram under VI schedule and citizenship rights and in Tripura also we are getting facilities for citizens but our brethren in Arunachal Pradesh,” said Kollol Chakma, a leader.

He mentioned the Chakma people in Arunachal Pradesh are the victim of several discriminations and not even get citizenship rights. A very atrocious historical wrong was perpetrated on Chakmas and other tribesmen of Chittagong hill tracts and they demanded compassionate treatment from central government.

 

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