News No. 51/2014, Sunday, July 20, 2014
THE Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) is reportedly planning to set up another Battalion headquarters in Baghaichari Upazila of Rangamati district.
The BGB has already a battalion headquarters at Baghaichari Upazila town (Battalion 39). In addition to this, a new headquarters for another Battalion (No. 54) will be built at Sajek in the same Upazila.
On Saturday, 19 July, a BGB team led by Lt. Col. Sharif visited Gangaram in Sajek Union to select a site for Battalion 54.
In Ujo Bazaar, Gangaram, they requested Jyoti Lal Chakma, Chairman of Ujo Bazaar Management Committee, to accompany them to go around the area to find a suitable site for the headquarters.
However, Jyoti Lal Chakma refused to go along with them while an elderly person told the BGB officer that ‘no one will be interested to give land for a BGB camp without the consent of the public representatives and prominent persons of the CHT.’
In an apparent attempt to subdue them, the BGB commander said: People are supposed to live in Mouza areas. But why there are so many villages in Reserve Forest area? [Settlement in reserve forest area is prohibited.]
In a befitting reply Joyti Lal said, “Once we also used to live in Mouza areas. But why no officer has so far asked us why we had to leave those Mouza areas?” [They had to leave Mouza areas due to military oppression and attacks by Bengali settlers.]
The BGB team then left Ujo Bazaar, went a few yards from the roadside to have a look at the area around and then went back.
Jyoti Lal Chakma told chtnews that recently BGB had been frequenting the area, reinforcing the concern that it might set up another battalion headquarters in Sajek.
He said any conspiracy to evict Jumma people in the name of building a battalion headquarters for BGB will not be acceptable to the people of Sajek.
“The people are prepared to resist to the hilt if any BGB camp is built in Sajek uprooting villagers.” he warned.