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Chakmas observe 'Black Day'; Move protests inclusion of CHT in East Pakistan

The 'Black Day' was observed at the headquarters of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC)

Chakma Autonomous District Council

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 Aug 2020 4:33 AM GMT

KAMALANAGAR (Mizoram): The 'Black Day' was observed at the headquarters of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) here on Monday. "The Day is observed every year to protest the illegal award of the 'Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) — the erstwhile Chakma Kingdom — to Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during partition of the country which has become the root cause of suffering of the community", stated a release signed by Doyal Chandra Dewan, general secretary of the Mizoram State Committee of the Chakma National Council of India (CNCI). The Black Day programmes were organized by the Committee while ensuring the COVID-19 protocols like avoiding mass gathering, maintaining social distance and wearing of masks.

Dewan added, "Today, the indigenous populations of CHT have been swarmed by plain Bengali Muslims, encouraged and sponsored by the Bangladesh government. The indigenous population now constitutes about 50% of the total population and is on the verge of becoming minority in their own land. In the last seven decades, since partition of the country, the people of CHT has suffered torture, killing, deprivation, humiliation, persecution, militarization, forcible occupation of land and human right violation.

"Since then, thousands have been displaced internally and outside the country as refugees — most of whom fled to India. This has caused collateral damage to the Chakma brethren in India who have been living since time immemorial in the contiguous areas of CHT in India (like in Mizoram and Tripura). The Chakma people living in these States are looked upon with suspicion and treated as second class citizen; and as a result have remained deprived. Their poor socio-economic status speaks of the level of deprivation they continue to live through.

Due to restrictions due to the prevalent COVID-19 pandemic across the country, the Black Day could not be observed with mass participation as witnessed every year. Virtual discussions through video conference was organised by CNCI Tripura State Committee and speakers from Mizoram, Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and from abroad like Canada and Australia participated in it. The theme of the discussion was 'Chakmas – the unknown worst victim of partition".

"In Kamalanagar, black badges were distributed among its residents to mark the Black Day.

"The organization members took to postering in and around the Kamalanagar town area to condemn the Radcliffe award of Bengal Boundary Commission which had awarded the non-Muslim majority CHT to Pakistan during partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 against the terms of reference of the Commission and Indian Independence Act-1947. The Indian leaderships were blamed for the meek effort they have made for inclusion of CHT within the dominion of India despite legitimate and strong grounds to be part of India. Some posters read, 'CHT was beyond the purview of the Bengal Boundary Commission, CHT being an Excluded Area under CHT Regulation 1 of 1900 and therefore, it could not have been treated as part of Bengal'.

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