Friday, April 22, 2011

Yet another land grab attempt
News No. 96/2011, April 22, 2011

As the situation in Ramgarh, where a violent attack on Jumma villages left one hundred houses burnt and scores wounded, is yet to return to normalcy, a group of settlers make another land grab attempt in East Gamaridhala in Khagrachari.

According to sources, a group of 15 – 20 settlers led by Jamshed Ali today made an attempt to capture five acres of land belonging to Din Bandhu Dewan in East Garmaridhala under Kamalchari Union.

The settlers tried to build houses on the land.

However, Din Bandhu and other villagers gathered there to resist the settlers. He also made a complaint to the authorities of the local army and police camps and requested them to stop the settlers from grabbing his land.

Later, the local administration intervened and the settlers went back.

UPDF leader Pradipan Khisha in a statement has condemned the settlers’ attempt to grab Din Bandhu Dewan’s land and urged the authorities to punish the culprits.

A Jumma lawyer wishing not to be named for security reasons said attempting to grab another person’s land is a crime punishable by law, but yet the settlers are never punished even though they are caught while committing the crime.

Land grabbing has become a perennial and ubiquitous problem in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, with thousands of acres still occupied by the settlers.

Gamaridhala, like many other areas, also saw hundreds of acres of land being taken away in the past.

In 2006 alone, the settlers grabbed two hundred acres of land belonging to its Jumma inhabitants. Those lands have not yet been returned to the original owners.

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