Bengali settlers set fire on indigenous Chakma houses in Dighinala
On 18 May 2001 at 12.30 pm the Muslim settlers in cahoots with the Bangladesh army and police attacked 3 indigenous Chakma villages namely Shanti Laxmipur, Kalachan Mahajanpara and Hemabrata Karbaripara of Chhota Merung union under Dighinala.
On 14 May 2001 Osman Gani, a VDP (Village Defense Party) commander from a post stationed near the Chamrachari Army Camp of Chhoto Merung, Dighinala was attacked and shot dead by a few unknown miscreants while he was on his way to his camp with the salary withdrawn for his men from Sonali Bank of Dighinala branch.
On 15 May 2001 the VDPs and the Muslim settlers of the area brought out procession in Dighinala. They threatened the indigenous people shouting slogans like "hatyar badale hatya" (killing for killing).
On 17 May 2001 a secret meeting was held between the military authority and the settlers' leaders in the Dighinala cantonment.
On 18 May 2001 at 10.30 a.m. the settlers organized a meeting in front of the office of the Dighinala Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (UNO). At the end of meeting, they brought out a procession with anti Chakma slogans along 1 kilometer long road from the Dighinala UNO office to the Larma Square where Dighinala-Khagrachari and Dighinala-Merung roads meet each other. From there they went 5 kilometers south by trucks and attacked the Shanti Laxmipur, then Kalachand Mahajanpara 6 kilometers in the south and finally Hemabrata Karbaripara 9 kilometers in the same direction. A group of army led by Major Momin of the Dighinala cantonment and many police personnel led by Officer-in-Charge (OC) Sagir Ahmed Talukdar and Second Officer Mozammel of Dighinala police station were present with the settlers.
The VDP personnel picked up a rifle from a police and fired several rounds of bullet aimlessly. Then the settlers started looting and setting fire on the Chakma houses. The OC and Second Officer were watching the activities of the settlers as a passive onlooker. A group of young indigenous Chakma people approached the OC and the Second officer and requested them to stop the settlers from carrying out their activities. But, the OC did nothing except blowing air through his whistle.
The settlers desperately tried to find out Hemabrata Karbari and other four indigenous Chakmas for killing who were continuing land related cases against some settlers in court.
The indigenous Chakma people of the surrounding areas went to resist the attack of the Muslim settlers. But the Bangladesh army stop them from going to rescue the indigenous Chakmas.
The settlers had looted and damaged indigenous Chakma houses of following 3 villages.
Besides looting of and arson of indigenous houses the settlers beat some indigenous people. They took away many domestic animals such as cows, goats, chicken etc. According to a primary estimation, some Taka 50 million worth properties were looted and destroyed in the attack.
5 indigenous women were seriously wounded in the attack. They were admitted to the Dighinala General Hospital for treatment. They are:
Sources:PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
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