Recents in Beach

Dream of Independent ‘Jummaland’ in CHT: Tantamount to Treason

                                                          (Pic Courtesy: Parbattanews)

Shihabullah Rana:

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), spread over 13,295 square kilometres, covers Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts, is a one-tenth territory of the country’s total area. The region is flanked by two international borders- on the south-east by Myanmar and on the north by India.

Presently, CHT people constitute approximately 0.5 per cent of the total population of the country. Density is about 113 per square kilometre, against 1,147 per square kilometre elsewhere in the country.

There are four tribal regional political groups operating in CHT, namely UPDF (Prashit Group), JSS (Shantu Group), JSS (Reformist/ MN Larma Group) and UPDF (Democratic). These groups are divided into various issues but they are united in dreaming to establish a new independent state named ‘Independent Jummaland’ in the hills.

At the same time, despite having the internal conflict on area domination, all these regional political parties have their common stance on some core issues like the land issue, indigenous issue etc. To obtain undue advantages, these parties are maintaining its armed group too. There are assessable provocations from the associates of these groups are to create a separate military force in support of their audacious dream of establishing “Independent Jummaland” in CHT. But sacrificing the lives of millions we got our independence under the leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who dreamt of an ‘Independent Bangladesh’ and transformed it into the reality. Shockingly, to the utter surprise the tribal regional parties are not only aspiring to have an ‘Independent Jummaland’ but also do not hesitate to portray Mr MN Larma as “Father of the Jumma Nation” in some occasions.

The regional political groups of CHT along with some vested quarters are propagating this theme widely in the social media especially in the ‘Facebook’. The extremist groups have already designed a flag of the proposed independent state ‘Jummaland’ and also its, currency, map, identity card, national anthem and radio channel.

It is reported that in the name of foreign scholarship, students activists of tribal regional political parties are being sent aboard who in turn act as cyber activists. It is observed from Facebook that the tribal parties have organized a group of young cyber-activists across the globe by this process who regularly participates in all sort of propaganda campaign. Even, they post news and pictures of any incident happening in CHT immediately after its occurrence, but in a fabricated way to gain sympathy in their favour and tarnish the image of the government as well as security forces. In most of the cases, it is observed that the online cyber activities are done by deliberately violating the existing laws of the land. In some cases, these are even identical to sedition. This group of cyber activists are very much vocal in favour of ‘Jummaland’ too. Reportedly, some vested quarters are working behind the scene to sponsor these cyber activists.     

“All regional tribal political parties have different wings like ‘military wing’, ‘political wing’, ‘finance wing’ and ‘admin wing’ hiding their party identities aiming to establish an independent state in the hills” - sources in the law enforcement and the intelligence agencies said. 

All the wings are operating illegally in the hill districts arranging fund through collecting tolls illegally from the businessmen, local people and other professionals even from the government service holders in the areas. The undercover manifesto of the tribal political parties is to maintain area dominance for the smooth collection of illegal toll. Though the government offered tax amenities for tribal people in most of the sectors, illegal toll collection by tribal parties at every point has turned commoners’ daily life difficult.

A surrendered armed member of a regional political party stated that “the fund created through toll collection is used to purchase arms and ammunition, conduct military training, pay salary to their activists, expand and run their organization, and continue pursuing to implement their goal”.

According to the sources, there are 3000 armed members of these four tribal regional parties. All the armed members are operating their activities as ‘military force’ of the respective party and they have different military chiefs holding the rank of ‘field commander’. They are collecting huge quantities of sophisticated foreign arms, ammunitions through smuggling to implement their evil desire.

In an exclusive interview, the self-proclaimed foreign minister of so-called ‘Independent Jummaland’ Mr Karunalankar Bhikkhu states that their armed wing, Jumma Liberation Army (JLA), has acquired about 500 sophisticated arms and he is in search of 5,00,000 (five lakhs) bullets and modern Rocket Propelled Chainsaw Launchers (RPCL) to fight for independence of the Chittagong Hill Tracts from Bangladesh like East Timor from Indonesia, South Sudan from Sudan etc. (

The local group who does not believe the peace accord they may want independence of Chittagong Hill Tracts- some stakeholders said. They also said that “During the peace accord, a local party named UPDF was established under the leadership of Prashit Bikash Khisha. We don’t know what their objectives are”. “We all know that Bangladesh became independent on 16 December 1971. We have the map of Bangladesh.”- they added.

“On 2 December 1997 for the greater interest of the three hilly districts, an agreement was signed. We all know it as ‘Peace Accord’. This is our rights. Now our work is to implement it fully,” – some tribal leaders said.

Bangalee leaders of CHT said that the leaders of the ethnic minority groups want everything like land, police and local administration under the Hill District Councils and that means they want independence. “Land, police and forest should not go under the Hill District Council for the greater interest of the country,” they also said. Bangalee leaders also think that the government should amend the existing CHT peace accord.

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