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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Try killers of indigenous people, ensure rights

Source: The Daily Star News

Human chain in Dinajpur places 7-pt demand

Indigenous people form a human chain in front of Dinajpur deputy commissioner's office yesterday demanding constitutional rights to indigenous people and end to repression on them. Photo: STAR

Indigenous people yesterday formed a human chain in the district town to press home their seven-point demand.

The demands include immediate trial of the killers of indigenous people, establishing constitutional rights of the indigenous people and formation of a separate land commission to ensure their land rights.

Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, a platform for the indigenous people of northern region, organised the human chain programme in front of the deputy commissioner's office. They later submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through the deputy commissioner.

Addressing a rally at the venue, the speakers alleged that at least 20 indigenous people were killed in 16 northern districts in the last five years, but the killers are still at large.

Two indigenous people, Sarker Tudu and Shom Hasda of Kushdah village under Nawabganj upazila of Dinajpur, were killed by Bangalee setters over land dispute in 2008. But police are yet to arrest any of the killers, the speakers alleged.

They said Mangal Hasda of Birganj upazila of Dinajpur was murdered last year, but the killers are moving freely under the nose of the law enforcers. The indigenous people are being deprived of their rights in all sectors, as the government does not pay proper attention to their causes, the speakers further alleged.

They demanded immediate formation of a separate land commission to ensure their land rights and also urged the government to establish a separate ministry to deal with their problems.

Urging the government to save the indigenous people from the land grabbers, they said all fake documents made to capture their land should be declared illegal.

They also demanded allocation of khas land to the landless indigenous people and withdrawal of all 'false' cases filed against the indigenous people with different police station in 16 northern districts.

The indigenous people urged the government to introduce mother tongue-based primary education for their children and ensure community's quota in higher education and government service.

They said though the Adivasi people played a significant role during the Liberation War in 1971, they are yet to get their constitutional rights.

Laxmi Kanta Hasda and Shital Maddi, president and general secretary of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Dinajpur chapter, Gonesh Soren, principal of Dinajpur Sangeet College, Rabindranath Soren general secretary of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad central committee and Chitya Ghosh, president of Dinajpur Press Club addressed the rally.

Later, several hundred indigenous people of 13 upazila of the district took out a procession in the town and paraded different streets.