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Fresh land grabbing in Longudu

News No. 112/2008, June 19, 2008

Fresh land grabbing has been reported from Longudu Upazila, host to the largest concentration of the Bengali settlers in Rangamati district.

Sources said in the last week of May 2008, Mokbul, a settler, pulled out and then destroyed all the 200 teak saplings planted by Gurudev Chakma (60) s/o late Probhu Charan Chakma of Harikaba village under Kattoli Mouza on his own land. When Gurudev protested, Mokbul said that the land belonged to him and that the government gave it to him back in 1982. The settler also threatened Gurudev not to enter the land. “Otherwise, there would be bloodshed”, he warned.

Thereafter, Gurudev Chakma lodged a complaint with the Mainee army zone commander. The commander assured him that he would look into the matter. But, he has not taken any action so far.

In another incident, a group of settlers led by Md. Rashid and Md. Fazlu from Tila Gram No. 3 of Bhaibone Chara cleared shrubs in 5-acre land belonging to Dayal Chandra Chakma (s/o Lakshmi Charan Chakma) in the village of Harikaba.

Another settler named Nupur Ali illegally occupied Goyeshur Chakma’s one-acre land in Baro Harikaba village. Ali, who is a VDP commander in Bhaibone Chara, has already renovated the land. Goyeshur Chakma’s wife complained to the Headman of the area about it. However, Nupur Ali is defying the Headman’s order to refrain from encroaching on Goyeshur’s land.

On the night of May 23, some identified persons cut the paddy belonging to Ranjan Chakma s/o Bajigor Chakma of Harikaba village and took it away. “The stolen rice paddy would amount to 160kgs,” he said. He suspects that Md. Rahman and Theda Buro, two settlers from Rajnogor School Tila of Bhaibone Chara, might have done it. He said they have similar records in the past.

In the same way, unknown pilferers cut the paddy belonging toAshwatma Chakma in Moddyo Harikaba and took it away. The stolen rice paddy would amount to 100kgs. The villagers blamed the pilferage on the settlers because of their close proximity to the paddy field.

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