News No. 92/2013, Thursday, August 01, 2013
Several hundred Jumma villagers fled their homes last night amid communal tensions sparked by midnight anti-Jumma slogans and demonstrations by Bengali settlers in Taindong under Matiranga Upazila.
According to sources, on Wednesday night, at about 11:30pm, some Bengali settlers exploded fireworks and then shouted “terrorists have come, terrorists have come” through mike, before gathering at Taindong bazaar.
At 1am, several hundred settlers held marches, shouting provocative slogans against the Jumma people.
This caused tremendous fear and anxiety among Jummas in five neighbouring villages of Headman Para, Boga Para, Pomang Para, Tanakka Para and Kolindra Karbari Para No. 3, and fearing attacks, several hundred Jumma families from these villages fled into the jungle.
One source said a total of 257 fear-stricken families including 130 families from Headman Para fled their homes. Of them, 127 families took refuge near Indian border.
He, however, added that these 127 families have returned to their village following a security guarantee by Border Guards Bangladesh.
“Others have not yet come back,” he said adding that fears still persist in the Jumma neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile, the settlers have asked their fellow Bengali drivers not to allow Jumma passengers into their vehicles, while the Jummas have refrained from going to Taindong bazaar for fear of attacks.
The settlers are reportedly preparing to hold another round of demonstration in Taindong bazaar today.
Last night’s tensions came 22 days after Bengali and Jumma leaders of Matiranga signed a deal to tackle earlier tensions between the two communities.-----------------