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Settler attack leaves 9 Jummas injured in Manikchari

Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
NEWS No. 07/2007, April 17, 2007

At least nine Jummas were injured in a settler attack in Manikchari under Khagrachari district. The settlers also looted the Jumma houses and ransacked a Buddhist temple.

The incident occurred on 27 March 2007, Tuesday, when a group of about 10 Bengali settlers from Gochchabil cluster village went to North Sapchari to grab Jumma’s land and plant Kochu, a variety of arum. When the Jumma villagers resisted the settlers went back.

However in the afternoon, they returned with more fellow settlers with them in two open jeeps. Their number was estimated to be about 50.

Armed to the teeth with dao, knife and stick, the settlers divided into two groups with one group attacking North Sapchari that falls within Ramgarh Thana and the other rampaging through South Sapchari, under Manikchari Thana.

The attackers looted and ransacked the houses and vandalized Dharma Rakshit Buddist temple in North Sapchari.

A group of Jumma people who were returning from Guimara bazaar also came under attack at Gocchabil cluster village. All their belongings were taken away.

Injured The attacks left nine Jummas injured. They have been identified as 1. Hlufa Aung Marma (Boidyo) 59, s/o Thoai Khoi Marma, his son 2. Nithoai Marma 35, 3. Mong Sai Marma 43 s/o Uggyojai Marma, 4. Mong Sajai Marma 42 s/o Hladu Marma, 5. Ms. Paiju Marma 29 w/o late Rampru sai Marma, 6. Aungthoai Pru Marma 35 s/o Athui Marma and 7. Kyojai Marma 45 s/o Thoai Khoi Marma from North Sapchari; 8. Chaila Pru Marma (a UP member) 33 s/o Memay Marma of West Chailatoli village, Lakshmichari Thana and 9. Goattya Chakma 45 s/o Narainya Chakma of Gungyo Para village, Lakshmichari Thana.

Loot Eleven houses were looted during the attack. In North Sapchari, the houses of Kaunghla Pru Marma (50) s/o Ruipru Marma, Uthoai Aung Marma 26 s/o Kongchai Karbari, Rui-u-Khoi Marma 22 s/o Kongchai Karbari, Ms. Paiju Marma 29 w/o late Rampru Sai Marma, Mongsajai Marma (35) s/o Hladu Marma, Prussai Marma 40 s/o unknown and Ms. Nai-u Marma 23 w/o Maung Pru Marma were looted.

The names of those whose houses were looted in South Sapchari are Ms. Rui Chaima Marma 65 w/o late Rui Pru Marma, Chai Aung Marma 45 s/o unknown, Sathoai Marma 50 s/o Ching Pru Marma and Konghla Marma 34 s/o Lathoai Marma.

Attackers Some of the attackers have been identified. They are Md. Shahidul (35) s/o Asraf Ali, Md. Saroj (35, Md. Delwar (40), Md. Akram; son of Amir Hossain; son of Nurul Haque; Md. Ratan (28), Md. Sakira (30), Md. Joinal (30) Md. Lal Bhandari (42) and Md. Mossabbar.

One of jeeps used in the attack carried the number 2280.

About 50 settlers took part in the attack. All but a jeep driver are from Gochchabil cluster village. One of the jeep drivers is from Fathikchari, Chittagong.

In the past Due to extensive arum farming, a vast area of Manikchari has already been reduced to arid barren land. The settlers plant arum, which is edible as vegetable, after forcibly taking away land from the Jumma people. Therefore, dispute over land and arum farming is not new in Manikchari. In 2004 one Kyoujai Marma s/o Paishay Mahajon of Molongi Para village was killed by the settlers when he tried to protest arum farming on his land. Not long afterwards, another two Jummas – one from Molongi Para and the other from Lapaidong Para village – were brutally murdered.

………………………………………………………………………….. Posted by Hill Watch at 4:34 AM



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