CHT NEWS No 16-2007 June 02-2007
- UPDF leader Milton Chakma arrested in Khagrachari
Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
NEWS No. 16/2007, June 02, 2007
Milton Chakma, former president of the Hill Student's Council and
coordinator of the United People's Democratic Front's Naniachar unit,
was arrested from Khagrachari on 29 May 2007.
He and his wife Sumana Chakma were waiting for a bus at around 11:30
am near Chengi Bridge, one kilometer west of Khagrachari bazaar, to go
to Chittagong, when the army picked him up.
Narrating the incident, Sumana Chakma, who is the finance secretary of
the Hill Women's Federation, a front organisation of the UPDF, said
"we were standing under the shade of the Shishu trees when an army
lorry pulled up near us. One army personnel asked Milton what his name
was and he told him his name. Then the lorry went a few yards towards
the direction of Khagrachari town before halting again. After a few
minutes they came back to where we were standing and took Milton away
leaving me there alone."
In the afternoon Sumana and her mother-in-law Ananta Probha Chakma
contacted Khagrachari zone headquarters. They were told at the
reception that the offices of the zone were closed at 2 pm and asked
them to go the next morning.
Accordingly, when they contacted again the next morning, the zone
commander told them that Milton was picked up by army personnel from
Mahalchari zone. But when they went to Mahalchari zone, the army
officers denied this.
It was only on 1 June that Milton's family could know through UPDF
members in Naniachar that he was sent to Rangamati district jail.
Although he was not tortured, the army filed three false cases against
him with Naniachar Thana (police station). One of these cases is
related to the death of an army officer who was accidentally killed in
crossfire in December last year. Another case is learnt to have been
filed under Arms Act. The third case is still unknown.
Milton Chakma is the coordinator of the UPDF Naniachar unit. A few
days ago he went home in Khagrachari on leave to see his ailing wife.
On the day of arrest, he was taking her to Chittagong for treatment.
Milton Chakma joined the UPDF after completing his Masters degree in
Sociology from Dhaka University. He also held the post of president of
the Hill Student's Council from 2000 - 2001.
He was first detained by army in 1999 when he went to Manikchari in
Khagrachari to attend the first death anniversary of Mongshey Marma, a
PCP member, but was released a few weeks later. After that, in the
same year he was kidnapped by JSS members from Ghagra in Rangamati
district along with another PCP activist Panthu Chakma. They were
released a few days later when pressure was brought to bear on the JSS
leadership. He was also among many others tortured by the military in
1998 when they were holding a PCP meeting in Baghaichari under
This news is also available at http://jumwatch.blogspot.com/
Hill Watch Human Rights Forum provides accurate, objective and
reliable information on human rights abuses in the Chittagong Hill
Tracts. For further details contact: hwhrf_99@... or