Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HWF leaders arrested, released later in Matiranga

News No. 83/2013, Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TWO leaders of the Hill Women’s Federation, a front organization of the United Peoples’ Democratic Front, were arrested but released after more than five hours in Matiranga of Khagrachari district yesterday.

The HWF leaders – Madri Chakma, organizing secretary of its central committee and Chmapa Chakma, a member of its Dighinala Upazila unit – were arrested by Border Guards Bangladesh personnel of Palashpur Zone from the house of Anil Tripura, headman of Gorgoria Mouza, at 6pm.

The BGB men also took away Anil Tripura along with them, but he was not arrested.

The arrested HWF leaders were handed over to Matiranga police station but were released at 11:30pm under strong pressure from HWF.

The two HWF leaders went to Gomati on Monday to help Democratic Youth Forum organize a rally to be held in Gomati bazaar on 18 July in protest against the killing of Pancha Sen Tripura, who was murdered by Santu group on 18 May.

The rally was initially scheduled to be held on 13 June, but had to be postponed as the local administration imposed section 144 of the criminal procedure code banning the rally.

The HWF leaders were staying with Anil Tripura at the time of arrest.

According to Anil Tripura, a group of BGB men led by Nayeb Rafiq from Palashpur Zonal camp, raided his house and arrested the HWF leaders.

Madri Chakma told chtnews after her release: “I asked the BGB men where we were being taken. One of them answered: ‘the zone commander wants to see you, so you must go to our zonal office’.”

But the BGB handed them over to the police instead of taking them to the BGB Palashpur zone office.

When contacted by HWF, BGB Palashpur zone commander Lt. Col. Nuruzzaman initially denied his men’s involvement in the arrest of the HWF leaders.

However, a little later he phoned Rina Dewan, general secretary of HWF, to confirm BGB’s involvement. He said: ‘BGB personnel were on patrol and arrested the HWF leaders because they were unknown to them. They were taken to Matiranga police station and will be released after a while.’

At 8pm a team of HWF led by Rina Dewan went to Matiranga police station to secure their release.

HWF has condemned the arrest of its leaders Madri Chakma and Champa Chakma without any warrant of arrest.


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