News No. 56/2014, Friday, July 25, 2014
THE government is preparing a list of Bengali settlers for rehabilitation in Babuchara and Sajek, where its decision to build two Battalions Headquarters for Border Guard Bangladesh sparked public protests.
Reliable sources have said a total of 30 thousand Bengali settler families will be rehabilitated in Babuchara under Khagrachari district and in Sajek of Rangamati district under a government-sponsored scheme.
The settlers who are willing to rehabilitate under the new government scheme have been asked to fill up a form, a copy of which has been obtained by chtnews.com.
The form is titled “Information list based on rehabilitation zone” and the settlers are required to provide information on fourteen categories, including on whether he or she has received settlement of 5 acres of land from the government, whether he or she has received an arrival allowance of Taka 2,500 and a pair of bullock or cash Taka 15 thousand and whether he/she has obtained a loan of Taka 10 thousand for horticulture.
The filled-up form is to be singed by the head of the family and the relevant Group Leader who is to identify him.
The form contains a reference to “The petition case No. 6329/2001 of the Supreme Court Division”.
The sources have added that a quota of 5 thousand families has been set for Kaokhali Upazila in Rangamati district and that around 4,500 families have already submitted forms to the concerned Group Leaders.
The Group Leaders have fleeced each settler family who submitted the form of Taka 600, the sources said.
However, it is not known if similar lists are being prepared in other areas, apart from Kaokhali.
A Group Leader told chtnews on condition of anonymity that the listed settlers would be rehabilitated in Babuchara and Sajek.
Many are of the view that there is a clear link between this rehabilitation scheme and the government decision to set up two Battalion Headquarters for BGB in those two areas.
The Jumma inhabitants have been protesting the government decision to acquire land for the BGB battalion headquarters.
In Babuchara, at least 21 Jumma families were evicted in June when the BGB personnel occupied their land. They have been living in a school building in Babuchara ever since.
The recent decision to rehabilitate 30 thousand Bengali settler families is bound to add more fuel to the simmering discontent among the Jumma people in the CHT.