Why we want our voice to be heard?


Friday, March 12, 2010

Tension mounts in Khagrachari again as news been reported that five Bengali houses were burnt down early hours of today

Five houses gutted by fire in Khagrachari, tensions mount

The communal forces in Khagrachari have tried to use a fire accident
as a pretext to start another round of communal riots against the
Jumma people, sources say.

According to sources the fire was originated from the kitchen of a
settler house in Rajyo Moni Para under Khagrachari Sadar Upazila in
the small hours of 11 March.

As the fire fighters failed to reach the spot on time, the fire spread
to other four houses in the locality.

The army and local civil administration are trying to use the incident
to whip up anti-Jumma feelings of the settlers, locals alleged.

The army personnel who visited the spot were reported to have
instigated the settlers to “protest”.

“It is the terrorists who have torched your houses. Why are you
keeping mum? Why don’t you protest against it?” the army is reported
to have told the settlers.

The district administration, Fire Brigade and the police have all
tried to interpret the fire accident as a terrorist attack.

The Khagrachari Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Abdullah, Superintendent
of Police Abul Kalam Siddiqe, Additional Deputy Commissioner Mohammad
Gias Uddhin Mogol and Executive Magistrate Mohammad Zainal Abedin
visited the place of occurrence today.

Rajjya Moni Para is located in the southern tip of Khagrachari town.
The district’s women’s college is also located here.

One Jumma resident said, “First of all, police patrol the area all the
time. Secondly, why should any Jumma set fire to their houses? The
Jumma people themselves are living in fear after the 23 February
communal attacks that left about one hundred of their houses burnt and

“In every communal riot it is invariably the stronger communities
which start it,” commented an NGO executive, who is currently
researching on the patterns of communal attacks in CHT.

He said that during the turbulent years of so-called
counter-insurgency there had been numerous attempts to find pretexts
to set off communal violence directed at Jumma villagers.

Citing an example he said the settlers had once secretly put the dead
body of a settler near the house of late Upendra Lal Chakma at
Mahajonpara, who was then in Tripura refugee camp. “The settler died a
natural death, but yet they tried to use him to launch attacks on
Jumma areas.”

Similar incidents also took place in southern CHT district of
Bandarban and other areas, he added.

“As recently as July last year the settlers resorted to the killings
of their fellow brothers to thwart the withdrawal of the army from
CHT. As the police administration acted somewhat neutrally at the time
the settlers’ attempt to start communal riots failed,” he said.


news source: chtnews.com

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