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    Indo-Myanmar border : Chakma Tribals Observe ‘Black Day’ in India and Bangladesh

    Published on August 18, 2019

    by Bhupen Goswami 
    Guwahati  :The Chakma tribals of northeast India and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of southeast Bangladesh staged protests on Saturday against the non-inclusion of CHT in India during the partition in 1947, and observed it as ‘Black Day.’ 
    The protest led by the Chakma National Council of India (CNCI) held rallies, seminars and other events in 4 northeastern states, Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.  Approximately 4 lakh Chakma tribals, mostly Buddhists, have been living in these states for decades.

    CNCI Assistant General Secretary Shanti Chakma told the media in Agartala that the Chakma people in CHT (of Bangladesh) are also observing the ‘Black Day’ through numerous functions. Around 8,00,000 Chakma tribals are living in the Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati districts, along the Indo-Myanmar border.
    The GS added that the day was observed with the initiative of the migrant Chakma students and the Chakma people living in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore
    He said that despite huge protests and ignoring the repeated appeals of the Chakma people, the Bengal Boundary Commission headed by British lawyer Cyril John Radcliffe announced the inclusion of 98.5 per cent non-Muslim dominated CHT with the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
    “Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, once publicly acknowledged in the aftermath of the partition of the country that moving the CHT to East Pakistan was a grave mistake. If Nehru ji’s remorse was true and sincere, then in his lifetime why did he not raise this issue in the international forum and why he did not arrange for remedy?” questioned the CNCI leader.
    Another Chakma leader Romel Chakma said that both in erstwhile East Pakistan and in present Bangladesh, the tribal population (mostly Buddhists with some Hindus) in CHT have been suffering immensely.
    He added that the Chakmas have been reduced to a minority. “With forced and government-sponsored resettling of the Muslim population from the plain lands by successive Bangladesh governments, the tribals who constituted 98.5 percent of the population in 1947 have now been reduced to a minority”.
    He further claimed that the Chakmas are being stripped of their rights and are being persecuted.“Besides, in important cities of India — Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore — the day was observed with the initiative of the migrant Chakma students and the Chakma people living there,” Shanti Chakma told reporters here.

    To observe the “Black Day“, the tribals held rallies, seminar, demonstrations and other events.

    He said that despite huge protests and ignoring the repeated appeals of the Chakma people, the Bengal Boundary Commission headed by British lawyer Cyril John Radcliffe announced the inclusion of 98.5 per cent non-Muslim dominated CHT with the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

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