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Rights group asks UN to intervene in attacks on Bangladeshi tribals

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, Feb 22 (IANS): A New Delhi-based rights group has sought UN intervention over attacks on tribals in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, a release said here Monday.

"The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has demanded the intervention of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Navi Pillay to ask Bangladesh government to take appropriate action on the burning of tribal villages and indiscriminate killing of tribals by the Bangladesh Army and illegal settlers Saturday," Suhas Chakma, director of ACHR said in a statement.

Bangladeshi newspapers have reported that the authorities have deployed soldiers after over 100 houses in several villages besides a church, a buddhist temple and an office of a UN-funded project were set on fire in Bagaichhari sub-district under CHT on Saturday.

A statue of Buddha at the Banani Buddhist Monastery was damaged and another statue was looted. The locals, mostly belonging to Chakma tribes and Buddhist religion, claimed that six people have been killed in the attacks.

"This attack on the indigenous people shows that the government of Bangladesh has failed to change its policy of indiscriminate killings of tribals in order to occupy their lands and implant more illegal plains settlers instead of implementing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997," stated Chakma.

The accord was signed between militant outfit Shantibahini and the Bangladesh government.

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