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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Longudu arson victims now in a state of siege

Longudu arson victims now in a state of siege

February 22, 2011

THE victims of the arson attack in Longudu are now living a subhuman
life in a state of siege, said Chonchu Moni Chakma after visiting the
place of occurrence.

Mr. Chakma was part of a three-member team from Khagrachari which
visited the spot on 19 February.

The other members included Monju Lal Dewan and Nipul Chakma.

The team left Khagrachari on 18 February, one day after the incident,
and stayed overnight at Longudu Sadar. The next morning they joined
with another team led by Longudu Upazila Nirbahi Officer and visited
the place of occurrence.

Chonchu Moni said: “We reached the place of occurrence at 11:30am. We
visited the affected villages – Ranjit Karbari Para, Rangi Para and
Shanti Nagar Gram – and spoke to the victims.

“They told us that the settlers had carried out the attack with the
support of the members of the Border Guards Bangladesh and that the
BGB had done nothing to prevent the settlers from looting their

“The victims further accused the BGB of encouraging the settlers to
set fire to their houses.”

According to him, a total of 24 houses in three villages have been
burnt down. Of these, 19 belong to the Jummas, 3 to the settlers and
two are Para Kendra or village centre.

“However, the huts that the settlers claimed their own and burnt were
not dwelling houses. These were ‘tong ghar’ or kind of small farm
houses, which were rarely used.”

As regards the death of Saber Ali, Chonchu said: “During our visit
many Bengali people told us that the death of Saber Ali, which sparked
the attack, was not unnatural. He had been suffering from various
diseases including high blood pressure. The Jummas were not
responsible for his death.

“Many Bengalis told us that they had asked the settlers not to go and
attack the Jummas.

“The chairman of Gulchakhali Union, Mr. Abu Taleb said Saber Ali had
died a natural death. Yet, a vested interest group had carried out the

Chonchu added: “When we reached there, we saw many of the victims were
without food or shelter. They just ate unripe banana. Now the people
of the affected areas are living in a state of siege. If they want to
come to Longudu Sadar, they have to pass through Bengali settlements.
Therefore, they are now afraid of going out of their villages.”

He said the BGB had set up a temporary camp there. “They set up the
camp at Shanti Nagar after uprooting four Jumma families from their
homes.” Chonchu said.

The names of those whose land has been grabbed for the camp are
Santosh Chakma, Sharat Chandra Chakma, Mongol Dhan Chakma and Nabin
Kumar Chakma.


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