The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace accord implementation and evaluation committee on Sunday instructed the relevant ministries and agencies to immediately transfer the operational authorities of all the government agencies and departments functioning in the Chattogram hill regions to the CHT Regional Council in accordance with the 1997 peace accord.
The committee further asked the ministries and agencies concerned to finalise the disposal of the land dispute rules within four months in order to end the land disputes in the region.
The instructions came in an official statement of the convener of the committee, Abul Hasanat Abdullah, issued through his public relations officer.
Hasanat presided over the fourth committee meeting on Sunday at his office in the Jatiya Sangsad.
CHT affairs minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti president Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma, Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Refugees from India chairman Kujendralal Tripura, CHT regional council member Gautam Kumar Chakma, among others, attended the meeting.
Hasanat or CHT-based other ethnic group leaders refused to talk about the meeting.
The peace accord implementation committee officials said that so far the authorities of 28 agencies functioning in the region had been shifted to the council.
But the council demands at its disposal also the authorities on some other agencies including the local police, women affairs department, Shishu Academy and postal department for running them and appointing the employees in grades 3 and 4, the peace accord implementation committee officials said.
The peace accord implementation committee also asked the CHT affairs ministry to supply it with a list of the security forces camps withdrawn so far from the region after the peace accord was signed between the government and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti in 1997.
The committee also asked the ministry to place a report about the law and order situation prevailing in the region following the withdrawal of the camps and to submit the report in its next meeting.
Committee documents show that the Armed Forces Division earlier officially informed the accord implementation committee that a total of 240 camps had been withdrawn from Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban hill districts between 1998 and 2017.
At present 217 temporary camps –137 army camps, 38 Border Guard Bangladesh camps, 13 AP camps, 32 DP camps, 20 Ansar camps and one RF camp – were operating in the three hill districts, the division said.
According to Hasanat’s written statement, the committee also asked each of the deputy commissioners of all three hill districts to submit a report to it on the cancellation of leased out lands in the region.
The documents say that so far leases of 11,525 acres of khas land in the hill region have been cancelled.
The committee in the meeting also asked the ministries and divisions concerned for upgrading the organograms of the committee, CHT regional council, Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Refugees from India and the three CHT district councils with provisions for recruiting more manpower.
Hasanat in his written statement also requested all concerned for facilitating the proper implementation of the peace accord since, as he said, prime minister Sheikh Hasina earned good reputations across the globe and even got an award from the UNESCO for signing the treaty for restoring peace in the CHT region.