A nightlong curfew was imposed in Rangamati today after violence spread in the hilly district in sequel to clashes between the Bangalee settlers and the Adivasis, reports agency.
The curfew that began from 7:30pm today is scheduled to remain in place till 8:00am tomorrow, Rangamati Deputy Commissioner Shamsul Arefin declared this evening after talking to the prime minister over the phone.
It all began yesterday when the local administration imposed Section 144 in Rangamati municipality for an indefinite period following clashes between the activists of the Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), an indigenous students’ platform, and several organisations of the relocated Bangalees.
At least 10 people were injured at Bonorupa Bazar in the municipality area around 9:30am. The clash took place during a daylong blockade enforced by the PCP in the district, protesting the inauguration of a public medical college in Rangamati.
Members of some Bangalee organisations, along with the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, locked into a clash with the PCP right before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the academic operations of 11 public medical colleges, including the one in Rangamati, through videoconferencing from Dhaka.
The ethnic students’ body backed by the Parbatya Chattagram Janasanghati Samitee (PCJSS, Shantu Larma) said it wants full implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord before the academic activities of the medical college begins.
Sporadic clashes were reported from different points of the district throughout today, prompting the authorities to impose the curfew to control the situation. The district administration publicised the curfew decision through loudspeakers asking all to return to their homes by 7:30pm and warning of legal actions against those who would violate it.