June 9th, 2016
Episode 1264 of 1420 episodes
Lipika Pelham travels to a remote part of south eastern Bangladesh to report on claims of human rights abuses against indigenous inhabitants of the area. The Chittagong Hill Tracts are home to thirteen indigenous groups with the Chakma, Marma, Chak and Mro mostly practicing Theravada Buddhism. Thousands were forced off their lands from the 1960s until the 1990s. An insurgency that started in the mid 1970s ended in a peace settlement in 1997 under which the army was supposed to withdraw but it continues to maintain a tight grip on the area. The resettlement of tens of thousands of Bengalis from other parts of the country has only added to tensions. Lipika is one of the few journalists from a foreign media organisation to report from there in recent years. She has returned with first-hand accounts of alleged rape and torture and hears claims that soldiers have been involved in evicting people from their homes. Her report carries details of attempts to forcibly convert young children to Islam as well as accusations of rape by Bengali settlers of girls as young as thirteen.