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Recent land grabbing

Recent land grabbing

1. The government acquired 9,650 acres of land in Bandarban for the expansion of Ruma garrison. On 22

March 2005 the government surveyed the area and put up poles marking the acquired land.

The government acquired the land despite protests from local people. The move will displace approximately one

thousand families belonging to ethnic people such as Murang, Tripua and Marma. Most of them practice Jum

cultivation in the area.

2. The government has planned to acquire 183 acres of land in Balaghata in Bandarban district for the

expansion of army brigade headquarter.

3. The government has already acquired 11,446.24 acres of land in Sualok Union of Bandarban in the name of an

Artillery Training Centre, uprooting 4 hundred  indigenous families. Each family was provided a paltry

sum of Taka 3 – 8 thousand as compensation.

4. A process is now underway to acquire 26,000 acres of land in Bandarban for the construction of a

training centre for the Bangladesh Air Force. The proposed site falls in Sualock Union of Bandarban as

well as in Lama Thana.

5. A plan to acquire 19,000 acres of land in Bandarban for the expansion of an Artillery Training centre is

now under consideration.

6. In Chimbuk of Bandarban a total of 5,600 acres of land have been acquired in the name of constructing an

Eco Park.

7. A process is now underway to acquire 5,500 acres of land in Sangu Mouza of Bandarban district in the name

of creating a “Abhoyarannyo” (animal sanctuary).

8. A process is underway to lease away 40,071 acres of land in Lama, Nikkyong Cahri, Alikadam and Bandarban

Sadar to private individuals for rubber and tea

plantation.

9. The government issued land acquisition notices for the purpose of construction of a battalion headquarter

for the Bangladesh Rifles in Babuchara in Khagrachari.It seeks to acquire 45 acres of land belonging to the

Jumma people.

10. In Pujgang of Panchari under Khagrachari district the army acquired 450 acres of land after destroying

the villages of the Jumma people. The army is now constructing a cantonment on the illegally occupied

land.

Recent land grabbing attempt by settlers

On the night of 23 November 2001 the Bengali setters occupied lands belonging to the Jumma people in

Lemuchari in Khagrachari district. Overnight they erected house structures for permanent occupation. The

army provided protection to them all along. The Jumma owners complained to the Deputy Commissioner

of Khagrachari against illegal occupation of their lands by settlers. On 25 November the DC called a

meeting to settle the dispute. Both the Jumma land owners and the illegal occupants were present at the

meeting. It was decided that the settlers would remove the erected structures and that neither party would

have right to construct houses in the disputed land  until direction from the DC. On 31 December 2004 the settlers occupied lands

belonging to the Jumma people in Kutting Tila in Lemuchari under Khagrachari district. The army

provided direct help and instigation in the illegal occupation.On complaint from the Jumma land owners, the DC called

a meeting in which both the parties were present. The DC ordered the settlers to vacate and dismantle the

houses built overnight on the occupied lands. Later the settlers filed a writ petition in the High

Court against the decision of the DC and false cases against the lawful Jumma land owners. The police, the

army and a section of the civil administration are providing all kinds of support to the settlers to

occupy the land by any means – legally or illegally. With their help the settlers obtained forged documents

in respect of the disputed lands. It is widely believed that Wadud Bhuian, Member of Parliament

elected from Khagrachari constituency, incited the settlers to grab the land. He is also accused of

providing new settlements to thousands of Bengali people in Matiranga, Manikchari, Ramgarh and

Mahalchari. In a recent interview he has acknowledged that the government has planned to settle Bengali

families in Sajek (Daily Stary June 4, 2005). While in  opposition, the incumbent Prime Minister Khaleda Zia

demanded that the Bengali families evicted from High Court Mazar area be resettled in the CHT.

Providing free ration to more new Settlers A proposal to bring 28 thousand Bengali settler

families in CHT under free rationing system is now under serious consideration of the Khaleda government.

This has been reported in an english daily. (Daily Star June 4, 2005). The government has been allocating

free rations to 27 thousand settler families since 1978, the paper further reported. Since all the

settlers in CHT have been already brought under free government rationing system, a proposal to provide

free ration to more settler families necessarily imply that these settler families would be brought in from

plain districts.


The Chittagong Hill Tracts has become the Palestine of Bangladesh.

Source: UPDF




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