The Jatiya Sangsad body on Chittagong Hill Tracts affairs ministry yesterday assured the arson victims in Rangamati and Khagrachhari of proper probe and exemplary punishment of the culprits.
The parliamentary standing committee on CHT affairs ministry yesterday visited the areas that were rocked by violence between settlers and indigenous people recently.
Head of the committee legislator Mohammad Shah Alam, who led the five-member parliamentary team in the daylong CHT visit, told newsmen, "We have come here to collect information on the recent violence. The culprits involved in arson will be identified as soon as possible and exemplary punishment will be delivered."
The team visited Baghaihat of Rangamati's Baghaichhari upazila in the morning and affected areas of Khagrachhari town and its adjoining neighbourhoods in the afternoon. They had separate meetings with indigenous people and Bangalee settlers in the arson-affected areas where riots and arsons cost three lives in February.
The committee told the press that they would meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 9 and finalise the next course of action on the issue.
Other four members of the team were lawmakers ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, Ethin Rakhain, Gias Uddin Ahmad and Jatindra Lal Tripura.
Later on while briefing newsmen at Satbaiyapara, an affected area in Khagrachhari town, Fazle Karim claimed that the local administration has identified the criminals behind the violence and tough action would be taken against them.
He, however, refused to disclose their identities and said the violence was planed ahead to create unrest in the hills.
Earlier when the lawmakers visited various affected areas, Bangalee settlers and indigenous people expressed their dismay. They gave their accounts on how things went wrong between February 19 and 23.
Victims at Gongaram Mukh of Baghaihat blamed the Bangalee settlers for the killings and arson. They also demanded withdrawal of the army from Baghaihat area.
In Khagrachhari town, Hasina Akhter 34, a Bangalee settler, said the area turned into a war zone after fire burned everything the indigenous people owned at Mohazonpara. The indigenous people torched 10 houses in revenge.
Khagrachhari Government High School assistant teacher Milon Chakma said her home was set ablaze by youth who attacked wearing helmets.