News No. 63/2012, Saturday, August 18, 2012
A BENGALI settler on Friday set fire to a house belonging to a Jumma villager in Maischari under Khagrachari district, raising tension between the two communities in the area.
The owner of the house, Batya Chakma, 25, son of Chikon Dhan Chakma, said the incident happened at 3pm when there was no one in the house.
He suspects the motive for the attack is land.
Batya Chakma, a resident of Manikchari Inner Para in Mahalchari Upazila, had built the house couple of years ago after he had moved away from his father.
The settlers have been trying to grab this piece of land for a long time.
‘When there was none in the house, Ashraf, a Bengali settler from Joysen Para village, took advantage of it and set the house on fire.’ a villager told chtnews.com.
Batya Chakma’s father said he could recognize Ashraf. ‘I saw him running away after setting fire to the house.’ he said.
During the emergency rule from 2007 – 2008, hundreds of acres of land belonging to the Jumma people had been forcibly taken away by illegal Bengali settlers in Maischari with active support of the army.
These lands have not been returned since.