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Monday, September 26, 2011

Hill people allege fresh attempts by Bengalis

Hill people in Khagrachari and Bandarban districts alleged Bengali settlers in Ramgarh and Bandarban headquarters were on a fresh move to grab their ancestral lands, triggering a fresh tension in the localities.

The local administration of Khagrachari attempted a mediation to resolve the dispute between Marmas and Bengali settlers but the administration of Bandarban was yet to take any action after the Khiyang community had submitted a memorandum to it in this regard.

Locals said a group of Bengali settlers on September 23 went to Pagla Para of Nabhanga mouza in Patachara union under Ramgarh upazila of Khagrachari in the morning to occupy lands belonging to the Marma community but failed in the face of resistance from the Marmas.

Again, on the next day, Bengali settlers gathered at Pagla Para and tried to occupy the land and the Marmas also gathered there to resist them.

On information, a contingent of Ansar from Patachara camp rushed to the spot and forced both the groups to leave the area. Ramgarh upazila nirbahi officer Gopal Chandra Das, Ramgarh police officer-in-charge Ohidul Rahman, Nabhangra mouza headman Saching Prue Chowdhury, and Patachara Union Parishad chairman Alamgir Hossain also went there.

The UNO instructed both Bengalis and Marmas to meet him with their land title deeds.

Land disputes in Ramgarh triggered severe violence on April 17, 2011, with four Bengalis killed, hundreds of hill people attacked, and 95 houses belonging to hill people burnt to ashes.

In Bandarban town, Awami League district unit joint secretary AKM Jahangir recently tried to occupy lands of the Khiyang community at Gungru Mukh Para in Kuhalong mouza, beside Chemi Dawlu Mouza, where he has a lease.

Bacha Khiyang, a local leader of the Khiyang commu nity and a former member of Bandarban Hill District Council, said Jahangir said he would make a rubber plantation, removing the Khiyangs. Bacha said Jahangir also threatened to file cases against them and even to carry out communal attacks on them.

On September 12, Jahangir along with his followers went to Bacha Khiyang’s house and threatened him of fierce consequences, if he did not leave the lands.

The Khiyangs submitted a memorandum to the Bandarban deputy commissioner against Jahangir’s attempt but no action had yet been taken in this regard.

Jahangir claimed he had bought the lands through proper procedures.


courtesy: New Age

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