News No. 50/2014, Saturday, July 19, 2014
THE suspected Bengali settlers on Wednesday pulled down an under construction house belonging to Rissho Kosei Kai Centre in Betchari, violating a police order to maintain status quo.
Ven. Sadhana Jyoti Bhikkhu, General Secretary of Betchari Rissho Kosei Kai Centre, confirmed to chtnews.com that the Bengali settlers, who are trying to grab the land of Rissho Kosei Kai, had tore down the structure on 16 June.
Earlier, on 8 May, the settlers had demolished the foundation stone of the Centre and pulled down its signboard.
Three Bengali settlers claim the land to be their own, but the Jummas vehemently dispute it.
They say that the settlers laid claim only when Rissho Kosei Kai laid the foundation stone and that during the last few years when the Jummas planted trees and built a house the settlers had been silent.
“There existed a Buddhist temple on the said land until 1990. It was destroyed when the army forced the Jumma villagers of Betchari to live in a cluster village.” they added.
They accuse the settlers of obstructing the development work of Rissho Kosei Kai, saying: the settlers’ claim is absolutely false and nonsense; and it was made to hinder any development work that would benefit the poor Jumma villagers.
After Rissho Kosei Kai filed a complaint with the district administration, the Superintendent of Police of Khagrachari district on 23 June served a notice on both the parties to the dispute to maintain status quo. [Memo No. 1685/Second part].
The Assistant Police Commissioner also reiterated the same at a meeting on 15 July in which both the parties were present.
Rissho Kosei Kai is a Japan-based international development Buddhist organization, with branches in various countries.
It has 12 branches in Bangladesh including one in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
The Rissho Kosei Kai has a plan to build a Buddhist temple and a meditation centre on the disputed land.