WHO IS KALPANA CHAKMA?.

On 12 June 1996 Bangladesh Army abducted Kalpana Chakma (23), a human rights activist from her home at Lallyaghona village. Kalpana Chakma is still missing, it is believed that she might have been killed if she did not agree to marry Lieutenant Ferdous, the officer who led the abduction. Abduction of indigenous women is not unusual in the CHT. Abduction and forced marriage of indigenous women are used as a technique to integrate the indigenous Buddhist people into the Islamic society of Bangladesh.

Kalpana Chakma was known as an active women rights activist in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. She had been vehemently criticizing Bangladesh army repressions and harassment on the indigenous men and women. She had specially been working for the emancipation of the indigenous women from becoming victims of the Bangladesh army’s lustful flame by organizing conferences, seminar’s and meetings in various parts of the CHT. She had also been lending her strong support to the autonomy movement in the CHT spearheaded by the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS). In the last general parliamentary elections of Bangladesh held on 12 June 1996 she took active part in electioneering in favor of the independent candidate, who is considered to be the reflection of the PCJSS on the open ground of the CHT. All these activities turned her into the direct target of the Bangladesh Army.

It was then about 01:00 a.m. of the 12 June, just 6 hours ahead of the general election of Bangladesh when Kalpana Chakma was abducted by the members of the Bangladesh Army from her home at Lallyaghona village of the CHT. An army Lieutenant named Ferdous with his 11 soldiers from the nearby Kojoichari army barrack raided Kalpana Chakma’s home at that night and picked her up forcibly. Kalpana’s mother 60 years old Badhuni Chakma told reporters –

“We were asleep when someone called out from outside and wanted to know who were inside the house. Then they pulled down the latch of the door from outside and entered the house. They kept powerful torchlight on our face and took away my younger son Khudiram saying that his ‘Sir’ (Lieut. Ferdous) wanted to talk to him. Few minutes later they took away my elder son Kalicharan and my daughter Kalpana leaving behind myself and Kalicharan’s wife.”

Her brother Kalicharan Chakma describe the incident and told reporters that “On hearing the gunshot and the shoutings few yards away I jumped into the water, they shot at me once and as I ran I could hear Kalpana cry out Dada, Dada, mahre baja (brother, brother, rescue me).”