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On August 3 2013, Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers wielding sharp knives and machetes began to attack indigenous Buddhist and Hindu people in Taindong of Matiranga, claiming that indigenous miscreants had kidnapped a Muslim settler named Kamal Hossain. At least 50 indigenous people were wounded and 3 were killed. More than 1,500 indigenous men, women and children fled to the India-Bangladesh border. Indigenous Chakma and Tripuri refugees in temporary refugee camps set up by BSF (Border Security Force of India) in Indo-Bangladesh border.

Bengali settlers set fire on indigenous houses in Matiranga of Khagrachari district

On August 3 2013, Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers wielding sharp knives and machetes began to gather at the Taindong Bazar area in Matiranga Upozila, claiming that indigenous miscreants had kidnapped a Muslim settler named Kamal Hossain.

"The Muslim settlers asked us to go to Taindong Bazar area to help find Kamal Hossain. We went there to help them" said Amrito Ranjon Chakma, village head of Bondorsingh Para and Fonibhushon Chakma UP member from Ward No. 1 of Taindong, in an interview with CHT News Update. "At one point, all of a sudden, they started beating us. They were shouting 'attack the indigenous villages'. Out of nowhere, hundreds of Muslim settlers joined the attack".

Both Fonibhushon Chakma and Amriton Ranjon Chakma were among the first victims of the attack. They were undergoing medical treatment when CHT News Update spoke to them.

For hours-on-end, the enraged Muslim settlers looted and ransacked as many as 400 indigenous Buddhist and Hindu houses. They also set fire to about indigenous 40 houses and Buddhist temples in Sorbeswor Para, Bondorsingh Para, Boga Para, Monudas Para and Talukdar Para of Taindong.

At least 50 indigenous people were wounded and 3 were killed. The dead have been identified as-

  1. Arun Mohon Chakma, resident of Monudas Para
  2. Suresh Talukdar from Talukdar Para
  3. Mother of Suresh Talukdar from Talukdar Para

Seeking refuge from the attackers, more than 1,500 men, women and children from the Chakma and Tripuri tribes fled to the India-Bangladesh border. They were however denied entry into India by the Border Security Force (BSF). BSF deputy inspector general Bhaskar Rawat told the Times of India that the BSF is providing the villagers with food and other assistance.

In the days that followed the attack, it was confirmed that the supposed kidnapping of Kamal Hossain was completely staged. On 6 August 2013 Prothom Alo a leading Bangladesh Newspaper quoted the Assistant Police Superintendent of Ramgarh Circle as saying- "This was not kidnapping, the whole thing was a staged drama." Police found Hossain about two hours after the hate-fueled attack began. Fonibhushon Chakma also commented, "They master-planned the incident to evict the indigenous people and to make them financially vulnerable".

Rights activists are now demanding a high level investigation into the attack. India’s ruling party, Congress, and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also asked the Bangladesh government for permanent rehabilitation and security for the displaced indigenous people.


Sources:

Kapaeeng Foundation
Email: kapaeeng.foundation@gmail.com, kapaeeng.watch@gmail.com
Web: www.kapaeeng.org

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