News No. 134/2012, Saturdayday, December 22, 2012
A FOURTEEN-YEAR old Jumma girl was found dead in the village of Barodulu in Kaokhali Upazila of Rangamati district.
She has been identified as Thomaching Marma, 14, of Barodulu village under Kalampati Union. Her late father’s name is Suithupru Marma. She is a class eight student of Kaokhali Girls School.
According to sources, at 4pm yesterday, Friday, she went to a nearby field to bring back their cows.
As she was getting late, her mother and siblings began to search around for her and found her naked near the field in the evening.
They suspect that she might have been killed after rape. ‘There were marks on her throat’, a villager said, suggesting she might have been strangulated to death.
There is a settler village named Nallyachari Uttor Matha within half a kilometer from where she was recovered.
This village and its adjacent areas were once populated by Marma people. The Bengali settlers occupied them in the 1980s after driving the Marmas from their lands.
However, the settlers are not content with these occupied lands, they want more and claim a large portion of Barodulu lands to be theirs.
They often make forays into these Marma areas and take away wood, bamboo and sun-grass which are rightfully belong to the Marma villagers.
A few months ago, Marma villagers planted ginger in their lands but the settlers destroyed them.
The Marmas immediately replanted again, and now a case is pending with the Union Council chairman of the area over the disputed land.