THE visiting members of the Chittagong Hill Tracts International Commission have come under attack by ultra-communal Bengali settler organizations in Rangamati, sources say.
The vengeful attack that took place at 1:45pm on Saturday when the Commission members were coming out of Parjaton Motel in the town has left two of them injured – Dr. Iftekharuzzaman and Ilira Dewan.
The Bengali settlers pelted their car with stones and smashed its windows.
One of the stones hit Ilira Dewan on the head, while Dr. Iftekharuzzaman was injured on the finger.
The Commission members were on their way to Chittagong to attend a scheduled meeting with the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 24th Infantry Division.
After reaching Chittagong in the evening the Commission members held a press conference to condemn the attack.
Ms Sultana Kamal, Co-chair of the CHT Commission, said the attack had taken place despite police protection and added that a leader of the so-called Sama Odhikar Andolan, an ultra-communal outfit of the Bengali settlers, had led the attack.
“Nurjahan, a female Sama Odhikar Andolan leader, started verbal abuse from the very beginning and gathered her supporters. Later on, the attack began under her direction.” an outraged Sultana Kamal said.
She held six organizations including Sama Odhikar Andolan responsible for the hideous attack.
“The six organizations which had called for resistance to our visit are responsible for the attack.” he said.
She alleged that the settlers had thrown stones at their vehicle from behind the office of an intelligence agency.
Another member of the Commission, Swapan Adnan, said that it was their seventh visit to the CHT.
He termed the attack on them as regrettable, and added: “We not only talk to the Hill people, we also highlight the plight of the Bengalis”.
The press conference was also attended by Khushi Kabir, Dr. Md. Iftekharuzzaman, Barrister Sara Hossain, Ilira Dewan and Hana Shams Ahmed.