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Ponemala Tripura killed by Bengali settlers
On the night between 3-4 September 2009 Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers killed Ponemala Tripura (50) wife of Bhibishan Tripura at Sindukchari under Mahalchari. The villagers recovered her dead body from their farm in the morning of 4 September 2009. She had a land dispute with the Muslim settlers.

Update on the killing of Ponemala Tripura

On the night between 3-4 September 2009, the Muslim settlers killed Ponemala Tripura (50) in order to grab her land. The Muslim settlers were identified as Mohamed Afsar Gazi, Khairul Islam, Rustam Ali and Noab Ali.

The Muslim settlers first tried to grab her land in 2006. That time settlers failed to grab it due to strong opposition from the CHT Regional Council and civil society. However, the Muslim settlers destroyed huge orchard that Ponemala Tripura planted on this land.

Again, the Muslim settlers tried to grab the land on 10 May 2009. The Muslim settlers attacked and destroyed her plantation. They even made plantation of their own on Ponemala Tripur's land. They threatened to kill Ponemala Tripura and his husband if they refuse to leave the land. Ponemala Tripura submitted written objection to Mr. Jatindra Lal Tripura, ruling MP from Khagrachari and also chairman of the Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Jumma Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.

Mr. Tripura forwarded this objection to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Mahalchari Mr. Shariful Arif asking him to take necessary action on this case. However, UNO did not take any step against it.

The Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Guimara police station Mr. Rashed took signatures from four Tripura villagers- Bhibishan Tripura (victimís husband), Naba Mohan Tripura (son), Dohendra Tripura and Khanjoy Tripura on a white paper. Police explained to them that these singatures were nothing but witness that police went to the crime scene for investigation. The OC of Guimara police station filed a case against four Bengalis and a Tripura man using these signatures. The OC did not mention the names of the Muslim settlers. The reason for including the Tripura man was to make the case weak. But the victimís relatives do not believe that any Tripura man was involve in this murder.

Bangladesh army of Sindukchari zone led by Lt. Colonel Kamrul and Guimara police station led by OC Rashed have been exerting pressure on relatives including victimís husband to make a compromise with the Muslim settlers.


Sources:

Kapaeeng Foundation: (A human rights organisation for Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh)
E-mail:kapaeeng.watch@gmail.com, kapaeeng.foundation@micico.ch
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