Bengali settlers spread communal tension in Matiranga
On 31 July 2013 at around 1.00 am, Muslim settlers of Taindong union under Matiranga in Khagrachari district spread communal tension following attack by UPDF on Muslim settlement named Noya Para in Taindong union.
It is learnt that armed groups of UPDF and reformist faction (Sudhasindhu-Tatindra) have been demanding illegal tolls from the Muslim settlers in Taindong union for long time. At the last, they demanded taka 500,000 from Tajul Islam, chairman of Taindong union. However, Muslim settlers including Tajul Islam did not pay money. In retaliation to this, a group of UPDF and reformist faction (Sudhasindhu-Tatindra) numbering 10-12 persons tried to conduct raid at Noya Para settler village in Taindong union on 31 July around 1.00 am with an aim to kidnap Tajul Islam.
However, UPDF and reformist group failed to abduct Tajul Islam as the Muslim settlers chased them while they tried to enter Noya Para settler village. It is mentionable that Muslim settlers patrol their villages at night to prevent any attack. As Muslim settlers were chasing, the armed group of UPDF and reformist faction opened fire to disperse the Muslim settlers and then ran away from this place.
Following firing by UPDF and reformist faction, the Muslim settlers shouted provocative slogans against indigenous people through loudspeakers from mosque that tribal terrorists had came to attack and asked Muslim settlers to wake up to prevent the terrorists. At that time, hundreds of Muslim settlers gathered at different places including Taindong bazaar under Taindong union and held marches shouting communal slogans.
This caused tremendous fears among Jumma villagers of six villages namely Baga Para, Headman Para, Tonga Mahajan Para, Sorbeswar Para, Rambabudeva and Pura Bari and around 250 families of these villages fled their respective villages. Some of the indigenous villagers crossed the Bangladesh-India Border and some took shelter at the jungle of remote areas of Taindong union.
Following this incident, on 1 August 2013 at around 12.00 noon, Dr. Mahe Alam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Matiranga upazila; Mojar Soheb, acting zone commander of Jamini Para BGB Zone and Delowar Hossain, vice chairman of Matiranga upazila organised a law and order meeting at Taindong bazaar in Matiranga upazila. In this meeting, the local administration and public representatives assured security of life to the indigenous villagers and requested them to return their respective villages. Accordingly, the indigenous villagers returned their villages.
However, indigenous villagers are passing days with insecurity as UPDF and reformist groups frequently conduct terrorist activity at this area and Muslim settlers often retaliate against the indigenous villagers.
Sources:CHT News Services