News No. 06/2013, Thursday, January 24, 2013
TENSIONS between Jummas and Bengali settlers heightened on 21 January in Naniachar after the settlers shouted anti-Jumma slogans, accusing Jumma youths of kidnapping a Bengali girl.
A section of the settlers whipped up communal sentiment among Bengali settlers by spreading a rumour that a Bengali girl was kidnapped by some Jumma youths, which later proved to be false.
The settlers brought in people from different areas and staged a protest march in Naniachar Upazila headquarters, reminding the local residents of the 1993 Naniachar massacre that followed a similar demonstration by settlers.
“I felt a strong sense of déjà vu when the Bengali settlers began chanting anti-Jumma slogans”, a school teacher in his mid-forties told chtnews.com.
In 1993, a settler attack in Naniachar bazaar had left 36 Jummas dead and many others, including Buddhist monks, wounded, he said.
A similar attack could have happened again if not for a prompt intervention by local civil and military administration.
The settlers shouted highly provocative slogans, creating fear and panic among the Jumma people.
However, the local administration took prompt actions frustrating the settlers’ attempt to launch an attack on Jumma neighbourhoods.
The Hill Students’ Council rejected the accusation of the settlers and staged a counter demonstration on 22 January.