AIZAWL, Aug 17 - Chakmas in southern Mizoram today observed a �Black Day� to protest the occupation of their original homeland in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh.
Organised by Chakma National Council of India, Mizoram State Committee and Chakma NGOs, hundreds of people participated in the Black Day observation at Kamalanagar, the headquarters of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in Mizoram. This is the second time that Black Day was observed by the Chakmas.
Copies of the Radcliff Award of Bengal Boundary Commission were burnt to condemn the unjust award of CHT, the ancestral homeland of Chakmas (which includes western part of Mizoram where there is Chakma concentration as it was part of CHT before 1898) to Pakistan during partition of the Indian sub-continent.
Chakma leaders said it is the unjust award of CHT to Pakistan that is responsible for all the suffering the Chakmas as a community are going through. They demanded intervention of the Government of Great Britain over the Government of Bangladesh to resolve the crisis of the Chakmas in Bangladesh.
They also blamed the then Indian leadership who betrayed the people of CHT and sold CHT to Pakistan. It was observed that India is morally bound to take a proactive interest in resolving the problems of CHT. �The problem of CHT is their making and not of the people of CHT�, the speakers asserted.
One of the speakers said, �The Chakmas have been made to suffer injustice not only during partition of India but through times since the British occupied the Chakma Kingdom in 1772. They divided the Chakma Kingdom into different circles and ceded some parts to plain Chittagong district and amalgamated a strip in the east to the Lushai Hills in 1898 which now forms western part of Mizoram.�
�Consideration of CHT under the purview of the Bengal Boundary Commission was also illegal since CHT was an excluded area with no representatives to the Bengal Province and therefore, the validity of award of CHT to Pakistan by the Commission is challengeable.�