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Office of Indigenous NGO Hill Flower

On 22 September 2012 Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers attacked indigenous Buddhist people in Rangamati. When the indigenous people counter attacked in self defence Bangladesh army took side with the Muslim settlers. 76 indigenous people were injured and numerous indigenous properties were destroyed. The settlers vandalized the office of an indigenous NGO Hill Flower.

Bengali settlers grab indigenous land in Mahalchari

In April 2001, more than 150 Muslim settler families settled on indigenous people's land at Joysen Karbaripara in Mahalchari. There was direct involvement of Bangladesh army and APB (Armed Police Battalion) with this settlement programme. Bangladesh government continues this settlement programme even after signing the CHT Accord in 1997.

The Muslim settlers of Pakujyachari cluster village under Mahalchari sub-district submitted application for extension of cluster village to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Khagrachari district in October 2000 and the DC advised the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Mahalchari sub-district to overcome the problem in consultation with the local leaders including concerned Headmen, Chairman and members of Union Council, Bangladesh army, APB and police authorities. The DC gave this advice without consultation with the CHT Regional Council (CHTRC) and the Hill District Council (HDC) of Khagrachari.

In the meantime, within a week 130 family of the settlers started to make houses on land of the indigenous people of Joysen Karbaripara adjacent to the Mahalchari‑Khagrachari road. Repeatedly, the indigenous people with the help of local UP Chairman‑Member and Headmen put objections to the DC, UNO, Bangladesh army and APB authorities and appealed to stop the settlement of Muslim settlers on their lands. They showed their tittle deeds to the authorities. On the basis of allegation, the administration sent a surveyor along with Mr. Dinesh Chandra Chakma the Headman of Lemuchari to inquire the matter. But the settlers ran after them with sharp metal weapons so that they were compelled to return without any inquiry. Moreover, one settler named Tachar Ali lodged a false case against the Headman with Mahalchari police station.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Khagrachari district went there to investigate the land grabbing. After investigation, the ADC submitted a report to the DC of Khagrachari district and he opined to push back the settlers to their cluster village. An eviction notice was issued to the settlers by the DC. About 100 families of the settlers out of 130 returned to their Pakujyachari cluster village.

The Khagrachari regional commander (Army) visited the Pakujyachari cluster village and distributed warm cloths and relief to the returnee settlers. During his visit he opined that the demand of the settlers were appropriate and informed the same to the DC for permanent settlement. Thus the retumee settlers have been instigated and in a stage they again settled on indigenous owned land of Joysen Karbaripara. At present, more than 150 families of the settlers living on indigenous land.

On 13 April 2001 CHTRC chairman Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma called a meeting at Khagrachari Circuit House. In this meeting, Khagrachari HDC Chairman Mr. Jatindra Lal Tripura, CHTRC members Mr. Goutam Kumar Chakma, Sudhasindu Khisa and Raktapal Tripura, DC of Khagrachari, Maischari UP Chairman and Member, Lemucharl Headman Mr. Dinesh Chandra Chakma were present. In the meeting, decision was taken that the settlers would be pushed back by the DC by 15 April 2001 and accordingly an eviction notice dated 17 April 2001 was issued to the settlers for returning to their cluster village by 21 April, 2001. But the settlers are yet to return to their cluster village.

On 19 April 2001 the chairman of CHTRC again had a meeting with the DC and Khagrachari brigade commander at Khagrachari circuit house. The chairman desired cooperation from them in returning the settlers to their cluster village. The brigade commander assured him to cooperate in this regard. The chairman also informed the DC to evict the settlers. As a result, the DC again assured the chairman that they would be evicted by 30 April 2001. But no settler has returned to their cluster village or has been evicted from the area.


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