News No. 87/2012, Sunday, September 16, 2012
CLASHES erupted between Jumma villagers and Bengali settlers in Betchari of Khagrachari district today over attempts by the latter to grab land belonging two Jumma individuals.
However, no cases of casualties have been reported.
It all began at 3pm when a group of settlers, numbering between 40 and 50, from Bhuachari Settler Para tried to forcibly occupy 15 acres of land – 10 acres belonging to Jomit Lal Chakma, 50, son of late Hori Kumar Chakma and 5 acres to Indra Mohan Chakma of Betchari Baronal village under Bhuachari Mouza No. 264.
The marauding settlers began to build houses immediately upon entering the land.
When the Jumma villagers resisted, it led to a clash between the two sides that lasted till the military from the nearby camp brought the situation under control at about 6pm.
The Jummas destroyed all the illegal houses erected by the settlers.
Officer-in-charge (OC) of Khagrachari police station Mostafizur Rahman rushed to the place of occurrence, it is learnt.
The situation is now calm, but the Jummas fear that the settlers may again try to occupy their lands.
One of the sources said Md. Shahajahan, Member of Ward No. 5 of Kamalchari Union Council, had been instigating the settlers to grab Jumma people’s land.
According to the latest report received at 7pm, the settlers have retreated some distance from the place of occurrence, while the Jumma people have been seen in discussion with the OC.
The United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF) has condemned the land grab attempt by the settlers and urged the local administration to take appropriate measures to bring those involved in the incident to justice.