Submitted by: Kapaeeng Foundation
Eight people of Ratkaba village under Sajek union at Baghaichhari upazila were injured when security personnel allegedly beat them up at Shaheed Ladumoni Chakma Bazar on Thursday following a dispute over land.
The people who were injured include Gayanamoy Karbari, Gayanandu Chakma, Bindu Chakma, Shanti Bimal Chakma, Anadi Ranjan Chakma and Lojo Mukhi Chakma.
Locals said the incident first took place when some indigenous people of Ratkaba scolded two indigenous women as they came to the local bazar to sell their goods despite a ban by villagers.
The villagers have been avoiding the market as part of a demand for returning them their lands allegedly grabbed by Bangalee settlers and stopping resettlement in Gongaram Mukh areas.
On information, the security personnel of Baghaihat zone picked up two youths -- Karnajoy Chakma and Kalabija Chakma -- from the bazar and beaten them up mercilessly at their office, leaving them injured.
At one stage, village women under the banner of Sachetan Nari Committee, led by its Convener Lojo Mukhi Chakma, protested the army action on the youths and rescued them.
Following the incident, the security personnel went to the bazar again and beaten up the indigenous people indiscriminately, leaving eight people injured, locals alleged.
A security personnel of Khagrachhari Brigade denied the allegations of beating the indigenous people, rather, he said, they tried to being the situation under control.
Earlier, the villagers, under the banner of Sajek Bhumi Rakkha Committee, submitted a memorandum to the Baghaichhari UNO on January 10 with an ultimatum of January 16 to return them their lands, police and locals said.
As the deadline expired without any fruitful result on January 16, they (villagers) started their agitation and stopped going to the market from January 18.