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 Garmaridhala of Khagrachari district
On 23 December 2007 a group of Muslim settlers led by Shamshu (48) from Bhuiyochari cluster village. Shamshu had earlier occupied 3 acres of land belonging to Mokor Kanti Chakma (32) in East Gamaridhala village. He and his co-settlers built houses on the occupied land and have been living there since then. In the morning of 23 December 2007, the Muslim settlers went to grab 2 acres of land belonging to Morotto Chakma (30). The land lies a few hundred yards south of Dadkuppya army camp.
The Muslim settlers were armed with machete and stick and began clearing the area for construction of houses. The indigenous Chakma villagers and the owner of the land vehemently objected to the settlers' illegal action and lodged complaint with the nearby army camp. In order not to be seen as a party to the said land grabbing attempt, the army reportedly assured them that they would not let the settlers to take the land. But behind the scene the military was directly responsible for the recent land grabbing in CHT. As the right of assembly remains suspended under the "State of Emergency" rules proclaimed by the interim caretaker government, the indigenous people can not put up resistance to land grabbing. If they gather for resistance they are arrested and charged with anti-state activities.
Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
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