National minority rights activists on Tuesday accused the ‘state forces’ into the enforced disappearance of Hill Women’s Federation leader Kalpana Chakma.
Speaking at a discussion marking the 23rd anniversary of Kalpana’s enforced disappearance, they said her whereabouts remained ‘unknown’ and the justice was being delayed only because of the involvement of the ‘state forces’ in the crime.
Hill Women’s Federation organised the discussion at National Press Club in Dhaka.
The enforced disappearance of Hill Women’s Federation leader Kalpana Chakma remained a mystery as three probes and 43 investigation officers could neither identify the perpetrators nor reveal her fate even after 23 years of her abduction on June 12, 1996.
Kalpana, a bachelor’s student at Kachalang College in Baghaichari, was known to be an outspoken political activist. Her political activities inspired many national minority people, particularly women. Her abduction had outraged the nation.
Hill Women’s Federation president Nirupa Chakma accused the state authorities of adopting ‘discriminatory justice system’ for marginalised people and powerful quarters.
She said the marginalised and disadvantaged victims have to struggle for long to get justice while the victims from powerful quarters get justice speedily.
‘This culture of selective justice should be abolished,’ she said.
‘We’ll fight to the last to get justice for Kalpana – through legal means and through our movement,’ Nirupa said.
Lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, who follows the Kalpana’s enforced disappearance case, said it was a shame for the nation that 23 years have passed but the investigation is yet to be finished.
‘If you asked about the headway into the Kalpana enforced disappearance case, the answer is nothing and the case is now at a nowhere stage,’ he said.
Jyotirmoy said it has been a culture that when ‘state forces’ are involved in any crime, the investigation goes to ‘nowhere’.
‘The state forces themselves take the ill means to take the responsibility of the crimes of their personnel to protect their bogus honour,’ he said.
Left Democratic Alliance coordinator Bazrul Rashid Firoj said the state authorities cannot utter the name of the very ‘state forces’ when they commit any crime.
He said the enforced disappearance of Kalpana was not merely a case of repression on women rather it was an act of ‘state policy’.
Revolutionary Workers Party general secretary Saiful Haque alleged that the ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ were going on in hills.
‘The enforced disappearances, rape and murders of hill people are going on for ethnic cleansing,’ he alleged.
Jatiya Mukti Council general secretary Faizul Hakim said the episode of Kalpana’s enforced disappearance and subsequent events were the testimonies of present ruling classes’ attitude towards people.
‘People would not get justice unless the present ruling classes are not toppled down,’ he said.
Hill Women’s Federation general secretary Monti Chakma placed six-point demand including immediate identification and trial of the perpetrators of Kalpana’s enforced disappearance and trial of all the rape and murders of women in hills and plains including of Tonu, Rafi and Tania.
She also demanded immediate trace of political activists including Michael Chakma, an organiser of hill based political party United Peoples Democratic Front.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country