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Monday, August 1, 2011

Bangladesh: Land grabbing, raping of indigenous women and religious persecution in CHT continue

Source: Kapaeeng Foundation

Human rights violation including land grabbing, raping of indigenous women and religious persecution continue in CHT unabated. For instances-

Attempt to grab land belonging to Marma community in Manikchari

On 8 May 2011 Bengali settlers attempted to grab land belonging to Marma community at Warkchari of Luklukya area under Hafchari union in Manikchari upazila of Khagrachari district.

It is learnt that on that day in the morning around 10 am a group of Bengali settlers went Warkchari of Luklukya area and started to clean jungle to erect houses. Tension was mount while indigenous villagers opposed them.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Manikchari upazila and a group of military forces rushed there and stopped Bengali settlers from land grabbing.

It is also reported that on that day in the evening Bengali settlers gathered near Jumma villages and attempted to attack indigenous villages. On the contrary, Jumma villagers organised themselves to protect Bengali settlers’ attack.

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Attempt to grab 400 acres of land in Lama
In May 2011 Chairman Nuru and Mohammad Shamshu, brother of ex-chairman, attempted to grab 400 acres of lands belonging to indigenous Tripura community in Phaitong Mouza under Lama upazila of Bandarban district. Already, 20 acres of forest belonging to the villagers have been destroyed. When the villagers resisted the move, the land grabbers filed a GD (General Diary) with Lama police station.

It is learnt that in 1980, the district administration leased out 120 acres of land in Phaitong Mouza to a non-resident person Mr. A. A. Sultan Ahmed for horticulture. However, the authorities canceled his lease as per CHT Accord as he failed to use the land within stipulated 3 years time from the date of lease.

Adjacent to the said land are registered and occupancy lands belonging to Tripura and Marma communities of Jaditung Para village.

Mohammad Shamshu, brother of ex chairman Rafiq, and Nuru, chairman of Harbang Union Council, are now trying to capture community Jum land and lands belonging to the Jumma villagers. Besides practicing jum cultivation, indigenous villagers have now taken to horticulture.

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Jumma teenager killed after rape

An 11-year old Jumma girl has been killed reportedly after rape in Boalkhali union under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari district. The victim has been identified as Sunika Chakma alias Milacha, a class three student of Kamokyachara Government Primary School. Police recovered her lifeless, naked body on 13 May 2011 morning near Zia Nagor.

It is learnt that Sunika Chakma went to Shafi’s shop to buy some cigarettes. But she had not returned since then. He mother Kalpana Chakma alleged that Ali Azom’s son Md. Kashem of Zia Nagar often teased her daughter and on 14 April 2011 he broke into their house and attempted to rape her daughter. At that time elders from both Jumma and Bengali communities sat together and settled the issue.

Kalpana Chakma filed a case with Dighinala police station against Kashem and others in this connection under sections 9(3)/34 of the Women and Child Repression Act 2000 on 13 May 2011.

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Army prevents repair works at Buddhist temple in Maischari

Security forces prevented repair work from being carried out at Maischari Arannyo Kuthir, a Buddhist temple in Maischari Union under Mahalchari Upazila in Khagrachari district.

It is learnt that on 16 May 2011 a group of security forces from Bizitola Camp went to the temple and ordered the stoppage of the ongoing repair work. The temple authority was repairing the pedestal of the Buddha statue and the floor.

The land on which the temple was built was donated by Hemanta Lal Chakma in 2006. Two Buddhist novices or sramanas now live in the temple.

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GP of CHT Land Commission replaced

Newly appointed Land Commission GP (Government Pleader) Advocate Monjur Morshed Bhuiyan has removed and replaced by Advocate Ashutosh Chakma on 1 June 2011.

It is mentionable that Solicitor Wing of Ministry of Law & Justice Department issued GO vide memo no: 4662/Solicitor/2004(Part-1)-94, dated: 01/6/2011 and removed Mr. Bhuiyan. Removed lawyer was famously known as anti-CHT Accord leader & Bengali extremist. He was also close associates of Bengali settler’s leader Wadud Bhuiyan and Bengali extremist organistion ‘CHT Equal Rights Movement’.

It is learnt that Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs was misguided by Land Commission Chairman retired Justice Mr. Khademul Islam. The name of Advocate Bhuiyan was proposed by Land Commission, Khagrachari office. Newly appointed GP Advocate Ashutosh Chakma confirmed that he got an appointment letter from Solicitor wing of Law Ministry.

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