News No. 22/2012, April 28, 2012
THERE have been allegations of land grabbing in Faitong Mouza under Lama Upazila in Bangdarban against the organizing secretary of Awami League’s Aziz Nagar Union unit, Samakal, a Bengali national daily reported on Friday.
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The members of Tripura community from two villages on Thursday formed human chain at the occupied land to protest the land grabbing.
The villagers alleged that the hired goons of this AL leader had destroyed 2,000 banana trees, 200 mango and jackfruit trees, 1,500 teak trees and about 5,000 saplings of various kinds of trees belonging to an indigenous villager in the captured land.
They cut the trees first and then burnt them to ashes so that no trace of physical possession of the owner remained.
At the human chain villagers from Rangchung Para and Bongo Para alleged that Selim Rahman, organizing secretary of Aziz Nagor AL, and his elder brother Saidur Rahman had been attempting to capture that piece of land for a long time.
On Saturday, Selim Rahman brought in 30-40 terrorists and began cutting down the fruit trees belonging to Probhat Tripura.
They cut about 5,000 trees in three days from Saturday to Monday.
When the owner of the land and his fellow villagers protested, the terrorists chased them away brandishing home-made guns.
Probhat Tripura and his wife Hassati Tripura said they had planted teak and various kinds of fruit trees including banana, mango, wood-apple, litchi, guava and orange on 10 acres of land in the last 10 years.
This fruit garden was their only source of income, they added.
Saja Chandra Tripura, the village chief of Rangchung Para, and Naziram Tripura, the village chief of Bongo Para, said ‘The land grabbers are influential people because they are Awami League leaders. The residents of Tripura villages are helpless victims to the power of their families.’
When contacted, AL leader Selim Rahman said that the land in question belonged to his father Motiar Rahman; and that it was not captured by force or by using influence.
On the question of tree-cutting, he said the fruit trees had been cut down to make way for rubber plantation.