Separate police force for the CHT areas

The Daily Star September 6, 2012

Police deployed in Chittagong Hill Tracts will not work under the authorities of the three district parishads rather the parishads will have separate police forces, said State Minister for CHT Affairs Ministry Dipankar Talukdar yesterday.

Rumours that Bangalee settlers will lose their lands after amendment to the CHT land commission act are unfounded as the chief of Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission (CHTLDRC) will ensure justice to those distressed, he added.

The state minister was talking to reporters at his secretariat office to dispel confusion among the Bangalee settlers who observed hartal in CHT on August 29 protesting the government’s moves to amend the land commission act and keep local police administration under the district parishads.

Parbatya Bangalee Chhatra Parishad, a council of Bangalee settlers, called the hartal.

“Some vested quarters are trying to destabilize the hill tracts by hatching conspiracy that if police are controlled by the district parishads and if the land commission act is amended, the settlers will lose their rights to the lands,” Dipankar said.

“The task of forming local police forces is at its initial stage and will take much time,” he said.

He said the Bangalee settlers’ main concern is that the proposed CHTLDRC will comprise of mostly people of indigenous communities and they will work concerning their own interests instead of those of settlers.

However, the new CHTLDRC chief will be a retired justice who will not be an indigenous person and his consent is a must regarding any decision of the commission.

The tenure of previous CHTLDRC ended on July 19 and new commission is yet to be formed.