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Pablakhali Landgrab
In March 2010 Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers build makeshift houses on illegally grabbed land of the indigenous Chakma Buddhists. They built the houses on the pretext of rehabilitating Mukti Bahini or freedom fighters of 1971 liberation war.

Bengali settlers try to grab indigenous peopleís land in Lemuchari of Mahalchari

On 5 December 2010 Muslim settlers constructed houses on the land owned by indigenous people at Lemuchari under Mahalchari upazila in Khagrachari district.

Around 10.00 am on that day more than 100 Muslim settlers started to construct makeshift houses on the 8 acres of land legally owned by Sunil Kumar Chakma and 3 acres of land of Ripan Talukdar at Lemuchari village of Mahalchari upazila. The Muslim settlers constructed 10 houses by the end of the day. A group of army personnel from Mahalchari zone and Kengalchari sub-zone were present at the spot to protect the Muslim settlers while they were erecting houses on indigenous owned land.

In opposition to the illegal construction, the indigenous villagers demolished the houses in the morning of 6 December. On the contrary, Muslim settlers gathered there with the intention to attack indigenous villagers in presence of the Bangladesh army.

Deputy Commissioner of Khagrachari Mr. Anisul Haque Bhuiyan, acting Upazila Nirbahi Officer Rahet Hossain and Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Mahalchari police station Joynal Abedin rushed there on 6 December 2010. During the visit of the government officials, in absence of land owner Sunil Kumar Chakma, his son Kerington Chakma was present there and showed title deed of the land. It is mentionable that Sunil Kumar Chakma bought this from Painda Mog who got settlement this land in 1965-66.

However, DC of Khagrachari Mr. Anisul Haque Bhuiyan accused local indigenous villagers for destruction of houses of Muslim settlers without accusing Muslim settlers for illegal construction of houses on the indigenous owned land.

It is also worth mentioning that Muslim settlers with the support of military forces and local administration occupied hundreds of acres of land owned by the indigenous people in Mahalchari area. Recently the Muslim settlers had intensified land grabbing in this area and as part of this move they constructed houses on the land of Sunil Kumar Chakma and Ripan Talukdar.

On 6 December 2010 the PCJSS in a press release protested against the land grabbing by Muslim settlers and condemned the Bangladesh army and civil administrationís support to illegal land grabbing from indigenous people. PCJSS demanded the removal of Muslim settlers from this area.


Sources:

PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
E-mail: pcjss.org@gmail.com, pcjss@hotmail.com
Website: pcjss-cht.org

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