Press Statement

CHTC protests the rape and murder of 14-year-old Marma girl in Kaukhali, Rangamati and asks for immediate investigation and exemplary punishment to perpetrators of all such rape and killings in the CHT.

Dhaka, 30 December 2012. The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) condemns the alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old Marma girl and urges the Government of Bangladesh to take urgent measures to end the violence faced by indigenous women and children in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. The Commission calls for immediate impartial and credible investigation and exemplary punishment of those responsible for all such cases of gross violation of right to life and dignity in CHT.

According to media reports (The Daily Star, 23 December 2012), on 21 December 2012, Tumaching Marma, a student of class 8 of Kaukhali Girls High School from Borodalupara village in Kaukhali, Rangamati, disappeared when she went to bring the family’s cows in from the fields at about 3pm. When she did not return to her house till 6pm, her mother and sister went out to look for her. Later, one of her uncles found her naked dead body in a jungle in nearby Nailachari. According to an autopsy report by the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) of Rangamati General Hospital, the girl was raped and then strangled to death. A case has been filed against four Bengali settlers under section 9 (3) of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000.

This year saw an alarming number of reported rapes of indigenous women and children in the CHT, including allegations against the police and the military, with a disturbing pattern of failure to conduct a thorough investigation into these cases and with a conviction rate of nil.

It is therefore urgent that action is taken by the Government of Bangladesh to address and combat the unacceptable violence faced by indigenous women and children in the CHT. It is intolerable and deeply disappointing that such human rights violations continue to take place at such an alarming rate in the CHT. The CHTC urges the Government to urgently investigate the alleged rape and killing of Tumaching Marma and take effective and prompt steps to prosecute those responsible by giving them appropriate punishment.

On behalf of the CHT Commission
Eric Avebury            Sultana Kamal             Elsa Stamatopoulou
Co-chair of the         Co-chair of the             Co-chair of the
CHT Commission     CHT Commission        CHT Commission

Source: Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission