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Army order to demolish houses in Naniachar

HR Monitoring Cell, UPDF, January 13, 2007

On 29 December 2006 army adjutant Lieutenant Abdul Wadud of Naniachar zone ordered some Jumma houses including two shops, which are under construction at T&T bazaar, to be demolished. The commander repeated his verbal order on 3 January 2007 and gave the owners two days time for the order to be carried out.

The Jummas are refusing to comply with the order terming it illegal. One of the owners said on condition of anonymity that since the order has not been given by a lawful court they are not bound to obey it.

The army order will directly affect five Jummas who had bought the land on which the structures have already been made or are being erected from Kiron Jyoti Chakma, the headman of the area.

The victims are Bhubon Joy Chakma (28) s/o Ananda Bilash Chakma of village Korollya Chari, Gyanakka Chakma (30) s/o Uttom Kumar Chakma of village Khamar Para, Bodhisatta Chakma (30) s/o Jyotimoy chakma of Naniachar, Amar Bikash Chakma (40) s/o Chidi Chakma of village Jadugochara and Annapurno Chakma (50) s/o unknown.

So far, they have withstood the pressure from the army.

But the army is also bent on seeing that its order is carried out in letter and spirit. The army today picked up two day labourers – Kopileshwar Chakma (25) s/o late Korma Das Chakma and Abil Kanti Chakma (25) s/o late Bhomra Chakma of village Choikuri Bil – who were hired to construct the shops. They were taken to the camp at 2:45 p.m., but Abil Kanti Chakma was released about one hour later. He said the army had asked them to dismantle the houses without delay.

Kopileshwar Chakma has not been released till the writing of this report at 5:30 p.m.

A resident of T&T told Human Rights Monitoring Cell that the immediate past zone commander Lieutenant Colonel Fazlul Haq had never prevented Jummas from constructing shops and houses in the area; instead he “would encourage us to expand our sources of income by getting involved in businesses”. He added “the present zone commander Lt. Col. Mirza Enamul Haq (24 E.B.) is of different temperament. He has little respect for the Jumma people.”

CHT NEWS NO. 10/2007. Prepared by Human Rights Monitoring Cell, United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF). January 13, 2007. Website: www.updfcht.org

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