GHRD is deeply troubled by the scale and ferocity of the pervasive attacks against indigenous people in CHT. The perpetrators of arson attacks on indigenous Jumma people’s homes, shops and places of worship in Naniarchar Upazila of Rangamati District must be brought to justice. Solid measures must be taken to address the urgent need for protection of Jumma people in the area.
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The perpetrators of arson attacks on indigenous Jumma people’s homes, shops and places of worship in Naniarchar Upazila of Rangamati District must be brought to justice. Solid measures must be taken to address the urgent need for protection of Jumma people in the area.
On 16th December, 2014 three Jumma villages1 of Rangamati District in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) were swept by terror when 400-500 Bengali settlers attacked the area at around 8:30 am. According to GHRD’s local partners and media reports, 50 houses, 7 shops and a Buddhist temple were burned and vandalized, and 3 people were assaulted by the Bengali settlers. The perpetrators committed the act of revenge after their plantation were allegedly damaged by Jumma people the previous night, 15th December.
The district officials provided relief supplies to the indigenous victims, however it was not an adequate compensation for their losses. It is alarming that no charges are filed against the perpetrators. GHRD is also concerned about the allegations of army officials being present during the incident and their active participation in the attacks. A proper investigation must be carried out by judicial officials into the potential involvement of army personnel.
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CHT News reports…
THE Bengali settlers have burnt down 50 houses and seven shops belonging to Jumma people in Bogachari under Naniachar Upazila in Rangamati district as the local administration celebrates Victory Day today.
The attack took place at about 8am today as crowds of Bengali settlers entered the Jumma villages under army protection.
Of the houses burnt down, 37 are in Suridas Para, 7 in Bogachari Para and 6 in Talukdar Para.
The attackers also entered Karuna Boudha Vihara, beat up Rev. Ogasha Bhikkhu and looted 4 Buddha statues from there.
The attack is believed to be directly linked to the illegal takeover of 2 acres of land belonging to Prafulla Chakma son of Padma Ranjan Chakma by Md. Afsar Ali, an illegal Bengali settler from Bogachari.
After the illegal takeover, Afsar planted pineapple saplings few months ago while Jummas registered a protest.
The settlers launched the attack after accusing the Jummas of destroying his pineapple garden.
One of the victims told chtnews.com that the army had not only helped the settlers in the attack, but also directly participated in it.
He said: “At 11am the army personnel doused a house, which was left half-burnt from the fire set earlier by the settlers, with petrol and set it alight. When the Jummas made a protest, the soldiers entered into an altercation with them. Later, the Naniachar zone commander went there and beat up Anand Chakma, member of Burighat Union Council No. 3, Mishon Chakma, Karbari of Mulukkyachara village and Subintu Chakma,a villager for protesting against the army’s action.”
More images of the aftermath of the Islamic onslaught against the peaceful indigenous Buddhist people can be seen HERE