There are widespread land grabbing in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The civil administration and the military are not only silent spectators, often they are the direct backers and protectors of the the Muslim settlers.
The Rohinga Muslims from Myanmar are infiltrating into the Bandarban District of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. More than 5 thousand Rohinga Muslims had infiltrated into Bandarban and they are grabbing Jumma People's land with the backing of the Bangladesh Army and the Government. The Rohinga Muslims had captured Sukkur Para, Saber Miyan Para, Thanda Miyan Para, Danu Sowdagar Para, Moqbul Pira, Azizur Rahman Para, Kabir Hazi Para, North Palong Para, East Palong Para, Gura Miyan Para, Amtali Dudhu Sawdagar Para, Mongkul Para, Noapara, Babu Mro Para, Refar Fari, Kalaziri Lama and Hirinziri area. The Rohinga Muslims are involved in terrorist activities, drug smuggling and other crimes.
A group of Muslim settlers grabbed land from the indigenous villagers at Kyaching Karbari Para under Bandarban district. At around 3.00 am, Muslim settlers led by Kazi Mujibur Rahman, vice president of army-backed Sama Odhikar Andolon constructed 12 houses on land owned by Kyaching Karbari. Following the forcible occupation of land, Kyaching Karbari filed a case with judicial magistrate court of Bandarban district on 11 August. In addition, he also lodged a case against the Muslim settlers with Bandarban police station. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of police station called both parties. But instead of evicting the Muslim settlers from forcibly grabbed land, he only ordered the Muslim settlers not to further expand occupation and houses.
Kyaching Karbari has around 30 acres of land in this area. Muslim settlers constructed at least 150 houses occupying around 4 acres of his land in the last 3 years. Kyaching Karbari lodged a case against the land grabbers. Court ordered to maintain status quo. But in violation of the court order, the Muslim settlers constructed further 12 houses. 6 months ago the Muslim settlers built a mosque and a madrasa on the occupied land with financial help from the Bangladesh army of Bandarban brigade.
About 2 pm, Mohammed Helal (23) began building a house on the land of Mongol Sen Chakma (45) at Purbopara village in Sajek. Helal's father and mother were assisting him in the work. When Mongol Sen Chakma's wife, Mrs. Poran Sona Chakma (38) protested, a heated altercation ensued between them. In the face of the protest, the Muslim settlers stopped work and left. However, a few minutes later they came back with more fellow settlers. Among them was "butcher" Shah Alam and chased Poran Sona Chakma away. The Muslim settlers were armed with machete and other sharp weapons.
On 26 June, a group of Bangladesh army personnel from Baghaihat zone surrounded the house of Poran Sona Chakma and searched for her husband Mongol Sen Chakma. He was not available at home at the time. While the Bangladesh army continues to intimidate the indigenous people with arrests and house searches, the Muslim settlers keep on building new houses on forcibly grabbed lands.
Muslim settlers with the help of Bangladesh army are grabbing lands from the indigenous villagers in Sajek union under Baghaichari. A Muslim settler named Alam (30) planted banana saplings on the land of Niharu Chakma (36) at Balughat village. On 4 June 2008, another settler named Mohammed Jamal (35) and his four labourers planted banana saplings on the land of Kiron Chakma (37) of Balughat village. On the same day, Shaha Alam (40) planted various kinds of saplings including banana on the land of Pattor Moni Karbari. Another settler named Kamal planted jackfruit and other seeds on the land of Lalu Chakma (55) at Gongaram Mukh village.
Mohamed Abbas Mian and his wife began digging the ground inside the Sadhantila Buddhist Temple boundary to erect a house. It was the second time the Muslim settlers tried to build houses in a provocative manner inside the temple enclosure. The settlers paid no heed when the Buddhist monks prevented them. In the end the monks were compelled to destroy the houses. After that, Abbas Mian and his wife called in reinforcements of his fellow Muslim settlers who made attempts to attack the Buddhist monks and some lay women who had been there for religious duties. The Muslim settlers retreated when they faced resistance put up by the indigenous Buddhists. At this stage, the military personnel led by Major Qamrul Hassan intervened. The Major put on an innocent face and inquired about the incident from the Buddhist monks. On hearing their version of the incident, the army commander asked them to report the matter to the TNO (Thana Nirbahi Officer or local administrative offficer). The TNO visited the spot and listened to the both sides. He held a meeting with the village elders and Union Parishad (local government) chairmen on Friday 7 September 2007. The settlers continue to build houses on land grabbed from Buddhists at Sadhantila under the command and protection of the Bangladesh army. Some of the houses have been built right in the orchards and courtyards of the indigenous Buddhist villagers. The beleaguered Buddhists are weighing other options to defend their land and the temple.
27 August 2006
The Muslim settlers equipped with machete started clearing jungle of Ultachari village with the aim of acquiring Jumma land. The Jummas tried to resist the Muslim settlers. At that stage, a group of Bangladesh Army personnel rushed to the scene to help their Muslim co-religionists. The army ordered the indigenous Jummas to vacate the place for Muslim settlers. The Muslim settlers also attacked a villager named Mr. Dipu Chakma (27) with machete. He was admitted at Khagrachari hospital with serious injuries. The Bangladesh Army detained and took the following Jumma villagers to army camp where they were severely tortured
Mr. Prabhat Chakma was released from camp on the same day. Others were released on 31 August 2006.
20 May 2006 (Muslim Settlers grab Buddhist Temple)
Muslim settlers of Maischari under Mahalchari grabbed a Buddhist temple and its land by torching the huts around the temple and constructing new houses on the land. On 21 May 2006 the Managing Committee of the temple called on to UNO (Upazila Nirbahi Officer - local administrative officer) of Mahalchari to resolve the dispute. The UNO convened a meeting between the Jummas and the Muslim settlers. The Muslim settlers ignored the UNO directive and again constructed 35 more houses. The police destroyed the houses on 25 May. Few days later, on 14 June at night the Muslim settlers torched the Buddhist temple itself and again constructed 40 more houses. On the other hand Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Chairman of the CHT Development Board supplied seedlings to the Muslim settlers on 17 August 2006. The indigenous people of surrounding villagers of the Buddhist temple submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh demanding to stop land grabbing by the Muslim settlers and return their lands. But the government which sponsors and supports the Muslim settlers took no action.
27 April 2006
A Muslim settler named Mohammed Rafiqul Islam forcibly grabbed five acres land from Sanjib Chakma of Bhakta Karbari Para under Matiranga in Khagrachari district. On that day 15 Muslim settlers led by Mohammed Rafiqul Islam forcibly uprooted the victim. Before the raid, a Bangladesh Army Captain named Mohammed Babor convened a meeting with the inhabitants of Bhakta Karbari Para and ordered them to hand over the land to Rafiqul Islam.
A group of Muslim settlers led by Mohammed Muklesh and Mohammed Mahafuz grabbed about 50 acres of Jumma land at Guimara under Khagrachari. Mohammed Muklesh in previous occasion in 2001 had grabbed vast swath of Jumma land at Kuitarchara village of Guimara with the help of BNP MP Mohammed Wadud Bhuiyan. Mohammed Muklesh filed a case at Guimara Police station against Jummas. On 29 March 2006 Lt. Colonel Nurul Huda called a meeting at his office to resolve the conflict between the Jummas and the Muslim settlers. Following people attended the meeting.
Both Jummas and Muslim settlers accused each other of land grabbing. So no resolution came out of the meeting. However, they decided that the Chairman of Guimara Union would give a verdict on later date. Another meeting was held on 4 April 2006 at the residence of the Guimara Union Chairman. In this meeting the Muslim settlers intimidated the Jummas. As a result, they declared that the Jummas had no right in the disputed lands. The Muslim settlers forced the Jummas to sign a paper regarding this declaration. The Muslim settlers are now building houses on the Jumma land at Guimara with the assistance of army authority. As a result the following Jummas were uprooted from their ancestral lands.
20 April 2003
The Muslim settlers of Bhuiachara under Kamalchari union in Khagrachari district attacked the Chakma village Bhuiachara Mukh Para to grab land of the Chakma villagers. They robbed and set fire on the houses. Many people were seriously injured.
Mr. Rangabu Chakma of Longadu cleared a hill side for cultivation. Suddenly Abdur Rashid from Faksha Para started to sow on Rangabu's land. Rangabu Chakma protested, but the settler Abdur Rashid paid no attention. Rangabu reported the land grabbing to Mr. Toffazzal Hossain, the chairman of the union, but Mr. Toffazzal Hossain took no step in this regard.
Mr. Tilokjoy Chakma of Longadu owned 1 acre of paddy land. A Muslim settler named Ganakya Mannan forcibly grabbed 0.7/0.8 acre of Mr. Chakma's land.
In collusion with the Bangladesh Army and the civil administration, the Muslim settlers forcibly occupied the lands of the Jumma people of Billachari village in Barkal Upazilla. The local administration brought the settlers from Barunachari and Subalong. The Muslim dominated civil administration provided them with rations and money. The Jumma victims protested against the illegal occupation of their lands to the local authorities with no avail. So the Jumma victims took the matter to Mr. J. B. Larma, the Chairman of the CHT Regional Council and Mr. Mani Swapan Dewan, the Deputy Minister for the CHT Affairs. Mr. J. B. Larma visited the affected area on 11 December 2002 and found the Jumma villagers grievances genuine. He ordered the local authorities and the Bangladesh Army to remove the Muslim settlers from the area immediately. Similarly the Jumma Deputy Minister directed the local authorities to take all the necessary actions against the thieves. As usual the local authorities and the Bangladesh Army ignored the orders of the Chairman and the Deputy Minister. High tension is prevailing in the area.
The Muslim leaders, under the orders of the Bangladesh Army, formed
a secret organisation named, Pahari Uchchhed Committee (Jumma Eviction Committee)
in the Panchari area with the aim of evicting more Jumma farmers from their
Mohammad Mobarak Hossain from the Muslim settlement at Kala Pagojya
of Goltila, Longadu forcibly and illegally occupied the agricultural land
of Mr. Niranjan Chakma, the son of Mr. Ananta Chakma of Dakshin Pablakhali,
Longadu. So Mr. Ananta Chakma appealed to the local TNO (local administrative