The abduction of Hill Women’s Federation leader Kalpana Chakma remained a mystery as three probes and 39 investigation officers neither identified the perpetrators nor revealed her fate even after 22 years of her abduction on June 12, 1996.
The 39th investigator, the then Rangamati district superintendent of police Tariqul Islam, submitted the final report on September 7, 2016 closing investigation into the abduction, stating that enough evidences were not there to bring the accused to justice.
The plaintiff, Kalpana’s elder brother Kalindi Kumar Chakma, on October 16, 2016 petitioned the Rangamati Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court expressing no confidence in the probe report submitted by Tariqul.
The petition is yet to be heard because of repeated police application seeking time for the hearing, said the plaintiff’s lawyer Jewel Dewan.
The prosecution also kept seeking time for the submission of a videotape made by the judicial inquiry commission and reports published in Bangla dailies Bhorer Kagoj and Sangbad on June 23 and 24 in 1996, the court called for on March 12, 2017.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 7, 2018.
An annoyed Kalindi told New Age on Monday that still they were expecting justice from the court although the state kept delaying the hearing seeking time.
A police investigation, three-member judicial inquiry commission led by retired High Court judge Abdul Jalil and Criminal Investigation Department produced inconclusive observations about the whereabouts of Kalpana Chakma.
On June 12, 1996, Kalpana, the then organising secretary of Hill Women’s Federation, was abducted reportedly by Lieutenant Ferdous Kaiser Khan from her house at New Lalyaghona of Baghaichari in Rangamati several hours before the seventh national elections, said Kalindi, also a witness to the abduction.
Kalpana was then campaigning for independent candidate Bijoy Ketan Chakma, the then senior presidium member of Pahari Gana Parishad, who was supported by all hill peoples’ organisations.
Kalindi filed the case with Baghaichari police station a few hours after the abduction.
The investigation saw 39 officers investigating the case in phases.
After 14 years of investigation, Baghaichari police submitted a final report on May 21, 2010 and Rangamati chief judicial magistrate on September 2, 2010 ordered the Criminal Investigation Department for a further investigation sought by Kalindi as the investigation ‘failed’ to identify the abductors.
The same court on January 16, 2013 ordered the third investigation into the case as Kalindi prayed for on the ground that the CID investigation also ‘failed’ to identify the kidnappers and that too without interrogating the accused.
A progress report, submitted by the then Rangamati superintendent of police Amena Begum on July 20, 2014, said that it was not possible to complete the investigation until Kalpana Chakma was rescued or a final decision on her status was made, as she was the main witness to the abduction.
Latest police report in September 2016 claimed that no enough evidences were found to put the three, named in the first information report, before justice.
The family had rejected the report of a judicial inquiry commission that had come up with similar findings.
The commission failed to identify any abductor but resolved that ‘she had been abducted willingly or unwillingly.’
Kalpana, a bachelor’s student at the Baghaichari Kachalang College, was known to be an outspoken political activist. Her political activities inspired many ethnic minority people, particularly women. Her abduction had outraged the nation.
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