Coordinator of International CHT Commission attacked in Bandarban

On 25 August 2014, Hana Shams Ahmed, coordinator of International CHT Commission, was attacked by a group of miscreants in Bandarban district of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh. The incident took place in the evening near Sakura Resort located beside Chimbuk-Bandarban Road.

It is learnt that Ms. Hana and her friend Nasrin Sultana, a teacher of Jahangirnagar University, were returning from ‘Shoilopropat’ (a local picnic spot) while the attack took place. They were on vocation in Bandarban. On the day of incident, Hana together with her friend visited to a number of tourist spots in the town before going to ‘Shoilopropat’ with one of their local friends.

It is reported that a group of 8-10 people stopped their taxi on their way back from Shoilopropat to Bandarban town and physically assaulted both Hana and her friend. The perpetrators fled away as soon as the locals sensed the attack.

The miscreants are said to be activists of Bengali settlers’ organisations, namely, Bangalee Chatra Parishad (Bengali Student Council) and Sama Odhikar Andolon (CHT Equal Rights Movement). One of the attackers was identified as H M Samrat, general secretary of Bangalee Chatra Porishad, Bandarban district unit. No case has been filed yet since the attack was made.

It is notable that Bangalee Chatra Porishad and Sama Odhikar Andolon called for a 4-day strike on 5-8 July 2014, while the CHT Commission was on an official visit in the CHT. The Commission’s convoy was attacked by a group of miscreants during their visit in Rangamati. Consequently, in the face of violent protest, the Commission cancelled their planned visit to Bandarban.