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Settlers attempt to create riot in Panchari over death of a woman

News No. 108/2009, August 19, 2009

Tensions have been mounting in Panchari as the settlers are trying to use the death of a settler woman to launch attacks on Jumma villages, reports from the area say.

Ms Nasima Begum (26 years) of Islampur died yesterday in mysterious conditions. Her body was recovered near the paddy field of Mohammad Awal. Her husband’s name is Mohammad Khokan.

Some of the settlers allege that Nasima went to the jungle of Wadokchara adjacent to Horigopal Para, a village of the Jumma people, to collect firewood. As she did not return home till the evening, the settlers began to search for her, and eventually found her lying dead near the paddy field of Awal which is situated near a Jumma village.

Afterwards, the settlers tried to whip up communal sentiment among their fellow brothers by deliberately propagating that she was killed by the Jumma people.

At around 9pm the agitated settlers of Islampur tried to launch a communal attack on Horigopal para village, but the attempt failed as the police intervened in a swift manner.

Panchari Upazila chairman Sorbottam Chakma told chtnews.com that he had tried to contact the local army zone headquarters by phone to seek their help to prevent the settlers, but none responded.

He further said that fears and anxiety had been prevailing among Jumma villagers of Horigopal para last night, and many, specially the women and children, had fled the village fearing settler attacks.

Independent sources said relations between Nasima and her husband had become sore and acrimonious over the last few months, and many believe that she might have been killed in a planned way by taking advantage of the charged political situation.

Her dead body has been taken to Khagrachari for autopsy. However, the settlers staged demonstrations in Panchari today against her killing.

A state of fear and anxiety is now prevailing among the Jumma inhabitants in the area.

chtnews.com is an independent and voluntary online news service dedicated to projecting and analyzing the current events in the Chittagong Hill Tracts from the perspective of the Jumma people’s struggle for the right to self-determination. For further information please contact at: chtnewsonline@gmail.com

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