The leaders of Chakma National Council of India at a press conference in Kanchanpur on Monday

Agartala: The Chakma National Council of India (CNCI) on Monday, like every year on August 17, observed “black day” in several locations of Tripura, protesting against the alleged torture and attacks being carried out over the community living in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh and demanded justice from International Court of Justice.

The CNCI called for the protest rallies at Agartala, Kanchanpur, Kumarghat, Manu, Chailengta, Chowmanu, Pecharthal, Gandacherra, Natun Bazar, Silachari and Birchandramanu maintaining social distancing and standard operating procedures (SOP) that have been laid over the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Speaking with reporters, CNCI Tripura vice-president Aniruddha Chakma said that they are the biggest victims of partition and therefore the community has been observing August 17 as ‘Black Day’ every year since 2016.

“We consider Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to be an integral part of India and seek justice and sympathy from the International Court of Justice. In about 5,138 sq miles of CHT, around 10 ethnic minority groups are residing, which include Chakmas, Tipperas, Murungs, Khumis, Lushais, Bowms, Pankhos, Mogs and Marmas,” Aniruddha said.

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He also said that the Bangladesh government has extended their support to Rohingya refugees in the country, due to which now they have started grabbing land in the CHT raising concern of the tribes further.

Altogether, 98% of CHT was inhabited by Buddhist and Hindu communities during the time of partition, but the CHT was declared a part of East Pakistan territory by the Boundary Commission, led by Sir Cyril Radcliffe, Aniruddha added.

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At least 50,000 people of the ethnic group took shelter in different camps of India, set up in Tripura and Mizoram in 1986. Later, many of them were relocated to Arunachal Pradesh. The last group of Chakma refugees sought asylum in Tripura in 2013. However, they were sent back to Bangladesh later.

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