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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Army prevents repair works at Buddhist temple in Maischari

May 17, 2011

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

A group of army men from Bizitola Army Camp yesterday went to the temple and ordered the stoppage of the ongoing repair work, sources said.

The temple authority was repairing the pedestal of the Buddha statue and the floor.

The camp commander then called Bimal Chakma, ex member of Maischari Union Council, to the camp and threatened him over the repair work.

“The commander told me in a threatening and harsh voice: ‘Whoever, Bengali or Pahari, dares to disobey me I will take stern action against him. If mere words do not work I will use sticks to get my job done. Whoever creates problem with regard to the land (temple land) I will beat him to a pulp.” Bimal said.

He further said that the commander had ordered him to stop the repair work at the temple until the case pending at the UNO was settled.

Bimal Chakma was arrested during the rule of emergency in 2007 for voicing protest against rampant land grabbing in his area.

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.

During the rule of emergency the army grabbed hundreds of acres of land belonging to the Jumma villagers in Maischari and gave them to the Bengali settlers.

These lands also included orchards and teak plantations the Jummas had created over the years. Now they cannot enter and cultivate their own lands.

source: chtnews.com

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