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Kalpana Chakma

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the day when indigenous activist and Organizing Secretary of the Hill Women's Federation was allegedly abducted from her home by members of the Bangladesh Army. She was never to be seen again and no one had been tried in connection to the abduction.

Around 1 a.m. on 12th June 1996, Kalpana Chakma was abducted by an army Lieutenant identified as Lt. Ferdous by eyewitnesses and two VDP members Nurul Haque and Saleh Ahmed. During the raid, they took Kalpana and her two brothers, Kalicharan and Khudiram Chakma. Khudiram managed to escape while he was being shot at, while Kalpana was taken away from his other brother Kalicharan. When Khudiram, along with the help of Samrat Sur Chakma, met the attending officers at the Kojoichari army camp, they were branded as members of the Shanti Bahini and threatened. Neither the police nor the Government took any action, citing that the operational area was under the jurisdiction of the General Officer in Command (GOC) of the Chittagong Division of the Army. Later on, the army circulated leaflets announcing a Tk 50,000/- reward for information pertaining to the whereabouts of Kalpana Chakma and was met with further criticism. The incident was also branded as a "love affair" in order to discredit the critics. In the end, none of the accused was ever put on trial and indigenous activists claimed that the perpetrator was still in service as of 2015.



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