Saturday, September 22, 2012

BREAKING NEWS : Racial attack in Rangamati, several injured
News No. 94/2012, Saturday, September 22, 2012

Riots have broken out in Rangamati town, leaving several – both Jummas and Bengalees – wouned.

It started at about 10:30 in Rangamati Government College, spilled over into Banarupa, College Gate, New Market and other areas of the town and is still ongoing. (12:45pm.)

According to various sources, members of Bangladesh Chattra League, student wing of ruling Awami League, and common students locked in an altercation over a trifling matter, but it soon turned into a clash between Jumma and Bengali students, resulting in about 42 injured from both sides including an army soldier.

Later the clash spread into other areas of the town, with Bengalis running amock. At 11:30am the Bengalis attacked Jummas at Banrupa, College Gate and New Market.

They also entered Upazila Hall Room, where a conference of the chairmen of the three hill districts was being held, and attacked Jumma participants. Many have been wounded. Arun Chakma, chairman of Mogban Union, is missing.

Ten of the wounded chairmen have been identified – Paritosh Chakma (Babuchara Union), Mongol Chakma (Longudu Union), Shombhu Tanchangya (Roangchari Union), Sanu Pru Marma (Sualok Union), Thoairing Marma (Chitmorom Union), Chaila Pru Marma (Koalang Union), Uchi Pru Marma (Hafchari Union), Chandra Ranjan Chakma (Dighinala Union), Bishwa Kalyan Chakma ( Kobakhali Union), Chuinu Pru Marma (Sindukchari Union.

At Banrupa, at least 30 Jummas have been injured in the attack. Two of them have been identified as Tapas Chakma and Shushovan Chakma, a physician.

Two of the many injured at New market have also been identified. They are Shimul Chakma and Dhiman Khisha.

The attackers also attacked and destroyed Jumma shops and businesses at Banrupa and College Gate. They also smashed the medical chamber of Dr. Kanishka Chakmas at Banarupa Petrol Pump area.

The unruly Bengalis, most of them from outside Rangamati, also tried to attack Jumma businesses in other areas such as New Market and Kalindipur, but they were repulsed.

They also torched four to five motorbikes at Banarupa and a bus at College gate area.

At Rangamati College the attackers ransacked the room of the principal of the college, Ms Banchita Khisha.

The Bengalis have now (12:45) moved to Tabalchari to attack Jumma houses.

Some other wounded are Shubhongkor Chakma son of Shashanka Chakma, Subroto Chakma son of Thakur Prashad Chakma, Ashish Chakma son of Nioti Chakma, Joba Chakma, a female college student (first year), Ananda Sagar Chakma, a businessman from Kattoli, Naiachar.

Two Hindu teachers of Rangmati college were also wounded after the Bengalis attacked them believing them to be Jumma.

Another Jumma college teacher was also wounded. His name could not be learnt.

The local administration imposed section 144 at about 1pm after the Bengalis achieved what they wanted.

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