News No. 67/2013, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A SETTLER attack in Gomati under Matiranga Upazila has sent Jumma villagers fleeing their homes.
About 200 Bengali settlers from Bandorchara near Gomati bazaar mounted the attack on Takar Moni Para, a Tripura neighborhood, on Tuesday night.
All the 40 families of the village fled into jungle.
Full details of the attack are yet to emerge, but many victims said they had seen the attackers ransacking their homes.
Motin Tripura, 35, who took refuge in the jungle along with other villagers, told chtnews.com: ‘It was about 1:30 at night when the settlers came and attacked our village. They were armed with machetes and sticks, and forced us to leave our homes.’
He said they had spent the rest of the night in the jungle and are without food and shelter.
‘We cannot go back to the village for fear of the settlers.” he added.
When asked why the settlers carried out the attack, he said, ‘I believe the attack was aimed at driving us out and then taking over our lands.’
According to various sources, Tofail Ahmed, a local Awami League leader, led the attack.
Settler attacks and military repression on Jumma people are now on the rise in Matiranga-Ramgarh area of Khagrachari district. Following are few examples:
- On 8 June, two Jumma activists, Sushanta Tripura and Amal Tripura, were arrested in Taipa area under Gomati Union by BGB personnel. The victims were on their way back home in Matiranga after attending a series of public meetings in Tabalchari and Gomati. The BGB placed a worn-out gun in their hands before handing them over to the police.
- On 25 May, two UPDF activists, Sajaimong Marma and Moni Kishor Tripura, were arrested by army from Chenguli Para in Ramgarh. The army placed a gun in their hands before handing them over to the police.
- On the night of 19 May, BGB personnel from Palashpur zone raided Takar Moni Para village and picked up four innocent villagers. One villager said their only crime was that they have never committed any crime.
- On the night of 26 April, a group of army from Sindukchari zone raided Boishnob Para in Ramgarh Upazila following a fire in a farm house that the Jummas claim to have been caused by Bengali settlers. The army made no inquiry as to the cause of the fire and tortured seven Jummas after putting the blame on them. However, it was proved later that no Jumma was involved in causing the fire.
- On the night of 25 April, a group of BGB men from Khedachara zone surrounded the house of Motin Kumar Tripura and picked up his father, Japan Kumar Tripura.
- On 2 and 5 April, Bengali settlers attacked Pran Kumar Para under Bornal Union in Matiranga Upazila, forcing all the 27 Tripura families of the village to take shelter in the jungle. The settlers looted and ransacked their houses.
- On 1 February, at 7pm, Lt. Col. Nuruzzaman, commander of Palashpur zone of Border Guards Bangladesh, arrested Kalin Tripura, 35, son of Dharma Joy Tripura, a resident of Apurna Mahajon Para. The victim was on his way back home after work from Birashi Muro when the arrest was made. The BGB placed a home-made gun in his hand and then handed him over to the police.