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Indigenous people protest against land acquiring

Indigenous people protest against land acquiring

Staff Correspondent, Ctg , Source: Daily Star March 17, 2005

Hundreds of indigenous people in the hill district Bandarban yesterday gathered at the Ruma Upazila Parishad premises to protest against the decision to acquire land for extending Ruma cantonment.

The cantonment authorities recently took an initiative to acquire 9,560 acres of forest, public-owned and khas land in Galenga, Pantala and Sengum mouzas for ‘development purposes’, raising massive protest among indigenous people.

The planned acquisition will affect over 3,000 indigenous families living in 60 villages, indigenous leaders said.

The demonstrators later handed the Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abu Raihan Albiruni a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, urging her to immediately intervene for changing the decision to acquire land belonging to indigenous people.

The decision to acquire the land was taken in 1987 but could not be implemented for long in the face of mass protests, sources said.

Out of a total 9,560 acres of land, 4,000 acres belong to the forest de-partment, 1,069 acres belong to local inhabitants and the rest is khas land.

Among others, Aoung Thwai Ching, a leader of the Parbattya Chattagram Janashanghati Samity, Aoung Lai Mro, headman of Galenga mouza, Merong Mro, headman of Pantala mouza and Ching Nue Mya, headman of Koladi mouza spoke at the demonstration.

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