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Muslim settlers clear land of Sadantila Buddhist Temple

In August 2007 Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers broke into the boundary of Sadhantila Buddhist Temple in Dighinala and began clearing the land for erecting houses inside the temple boundary.

Bengali settlers attempt to grab indigenous Chakma people's land in Lemuchari of Khagrachari district

On 18 December 2007 a Muslim settler name Mohamed Tofer attempted to grab a paddy land of Mr. Bimal Kanti Chakma in Lemuchari. That led to a scuffle between the indigenous Chakma villagers and a group of Muslim settlers. Mohamed Tofer from Chongrachari cluster village had been making attempts to capture 20 decimals of 1st class paddy land belonging to Biaml Kanti Chakma since 13 December. He began to plow the land as though it belonged to him. On 18 December, Bimal Kanti Chakma raised objections and asked Mohamed Tofer to keep off his land. However, the settler struck a bargain and said he would occupy that piece of land by any means. Many other settlers joined him. They said that the Bangladesh army was with them, that the country belongs only to 140 million Bengali Muslim people and that the Paharis (hill people) are not welcome in their country. They further said that all the lands now the Jummas live in actually belong to them (the settlers) because the government gave them these lands back in 1982 and 1983.

The indigenous people refuted the claim saying they had lived there well before that time and that the government has no right to take away one person's land and then give it to another one. The indigenous people asked the settlers to produce valid documents in support of their claim. They failed to do so and became angry. At one stage the settlers tried to drive them away by force. But when the indigenous Chakma people protested, a minor scuffle broke out between the two groups. One of Tofer's wives came running at them wielding a machete, but she was blocked by other settlers.

It is to be mentioned that in October 2007, two acres of third class hilly land belonging to Bimal Kanti Chakma (45) and his brother Nitimoy Chakma (50) were taken away by the Muslim settlers.


Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
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