On 12 June 2015 at 3.30 pm, women, students, youths, human rights defenders and indigenous peoples organizations organized a demonstration and public gathering at Central Shahid Minar in Dhaka demanding for publication of final probe report of Kalpana Chakma and exemplary punishment of the perpetrators. Following the demonstration, a procession was also brought out in the Dhaka University campus.
Pankaj Bhattyacharya, President of Oikyo NAP; Rokeya Kabir, Executive Director of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha; Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum; Abdul Matin Bhuiyan of Sammilito Samajik Anodlon; Dipayan Khisa, member of PCJSS; Nimai Mandal, indigenous leader Gajendra Nath Mahato, Shampa Basu, General Secretary of Samajtantrik Mohila Forum; Chaitali Tripura, Joint Convener of Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network, among others, delivered their speeches in the demonstration. The demonstration was presided over by Chanchana Chakma, President of Hill Women’s Federation while Chandra Tripura, Organizing Secretary of Hill Women’s Federation conducted the event.
Pankaj Bhattyacharya said that the state is not friendly towards indigenous peoples. It does not observe the pain of indigenous peoples. He also added that it has been 19 years of abduction of Kalpana Chakma, still none of the perpetrators has been brought to justice. The government should take action against the alleged abductors of Kalpana Chakma and ensure exemplary punishments to them under the laws of the country.
Sanjeeb Drong said that the young lady (Kalpana Chakma) has not been found yet, who was abducted 19 years ago. The military personnel abducted her night before the day of general elections in 1996. For this, an inquiry committee was formed but the committee has not been able to submit the report yet.
Chaitali Tripura expressed her concern that the state has failed to ensure protection of women in Bangladesh—both indigenous and non-indigenous, to realize the rights of indigenous peoples, and to punish the culprits of Kalpana Chakma.
Following organizations organized and expressed solidarity with the mass demonstration and rally demanding justice for Kalpana Chakma, Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Hill Women’s Federation, Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network, Sammilito Samajik Andolon, ALRD, Kapaeeng Foundation, Jono Uddog, Bangladesh Student Union, Samajtantrik Mohila Forum, Bangladesh Adibashi Chatra Sangram Parishad, Nari Pokkho, Hill Students Council, Adibashi Jubo Parishad, Institute for Environment and Development (IED), Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Samprithi Moncho etc.
Current State of the Case of Kalpana Chakma Abduction
Kalpana Chakma, the then organizing secretary of Hill Women’s Federation, was allegedly abducted on 12 June 1996 at mid-night from her home at New Lalyaghona in Baghaichari Upazila under Rangamati district by a group of army and Village Defense Party (VDP) men. On the same night, while Kalpana was being abducted, the perpetrators also allegedly tried to shoot two of her elder brothers dead in front of her outside of their house. Lal Bihari Chakma, one of the elder brothers of Kalpana, was able to identify Lt. Ferdous Kaisar Khan, the then Commander of Kajaichari army camp and Md. Nurul Haque and Md. Saleh Ahmmed, VDP Platoon Commander.
Kalindi Kumar Chakma (Kalicharan), elder brother of Kalpana Chakma along with Diptiman Chakma, local UP Chairman, notified the Upazila Nirbai Officer (UNO) of Baghaichari Upazila on the day of the incident. After many procrastinating, police finally took the complaint as a case (no 2, dated 12/06/1996, Section 364). On 17 January 1997 the case was transferred to the District Special Branch. Later the case was again transferred to Baghaichari police station on 26 December 2004. After 14 years, on 21 May 2010, police submitted the final probe report with blatant and deliberate misleading contents allegedly so to save the alleged perpetrators from the allegation. Kalicharan, complainant, protested against the flawed probe report of police. Later on 2 September 2010, the court ordered the Crime Investigation Department (CID) Police for additional investigation of this case. On 26 September 2012, a final report had been submitted on behalf of CID, Chittagong Zone. In that report, the CID showed that they could not find the victim. The complainant again expressed his disagreement with the inquiry report and demanded once again for further investigation. On 16 January 2013, the court handed over the case to the Superintendent of Police of Rangamati district. On 22 December 2013 the court ordered to collect DNA of Kalindi Kumar Chakma and Lal Bihari Chakma, both elder brothers of Kalpana Chakma claiming it as a part of the investigation. This directive is a deliberate harassment to the Kalapana family for miscarriage of the case. After the hearing on 27 May 2015, the court again set the date of hearing on 16 June 2015.Thecourt hearings of the case of Kalpana Chakma have been continuing for so many years; however, the case has not seen any remarkable progress.