No justice yet 24 years after Kalpana Chakma abduction

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:01, Jun 13,2020


Kalpana Chakma

The family and hill people’s organisations have demanded a judicial inquiry into the disappearance of Hill Women’s Federation leader Kalpana Chakma as three probes and 39 investigation officers have neither identified the perpetrators nor revealed her fate even 24 years inside her reported abduction on June 12, 1996.

The family and Chittagong Hill Tracts-based political organisations questioned the failure of the probes and investigation officers as they named a lieutenant of Bangladesh Army, a police constable and an Ansar and VDP member for their alleged role in the abduction.

Marking the anniversary, Samatantrik Mohila Forum and Hill Women’s Federation in statements demanded justice over the disappearance of Kalpana Chakma.

On June 12, 1996, Kalpana, the then Hill Women’s Federation organising secretary, was abducted reportedly by three from her house at New Lalyaghona of Baghaichari in Rangamati several hours before the seventh national elections.     

Kalpana was then campaigning for independent candidate Pahari Gana Parishad senior presidium member Bijoy Ketan Chakma, who was supported by all hill peoples’ organisations. Her brother Kalindi Kumar Chakma filed the case with Baghaichari police station a few hours after the abduction.

The Rangamati Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court on April 30, 2020 deferred the hearing of the case until reopening of the regular court activities as the investigator failed to submit required clippings of different dailies in June 1996.

The hearing was deferred time and again in the past three years as the prosecution failed to produce a videotape made by the judicial inquiry commission and news reports published in Bangla dailies Bhorer Kagoj and Sangbad in June 23-24, 1996, said plaintiff’s lawyer Jewel Dewan of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust on Friday.

He also petitioned the court on October 19, 2016 seeking further investigation and expressing no confidence in the latest investigation report which failed to identify any accused.

The police submitted the final report on September 7, 2016 closing investigation, stating that there were no evidences for bringing the accused to justice.

The family alleged that none interrogated the suspects the then Lieutenant Ferdous Kaisar Khan, VDP member Nurul Huq and police constable Saleh Ahmed and had any of the investigators interrogated the three, the fate of Kalpana could be revealed much ago.

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 report also ‘failed’ to identify the abductor 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.

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