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So-called Sama Adhikar leader arrested

News No. 156/2008, October 05, 2008

A leader of the so-called Sama Adhikar Andolan, a platform of a section of the Bengali settlers, has been arrested for setting fire to the newly built settler houses in Char Mile area under Baghaichari Upazila in Rangamati district.

One source said the houses were set on fire in the small hours yesterday, 4 October. About 15 houses were burnt to ashes. The motive of the culprits was to fan communal tension by putting the blame on the Jumma people and create a pretext to launch an attack on their villages a la 20 April Sajek attack.

But in the morning it became clear to all who actually set the fire, and Selim Uddin Bahari, president of Baghatichari Unit of the Sama Adhikar Andolan, was immediately arrested.

His arrest led to a brief fight between a section of the settlers and the BDR and police personnel, and a number of BDR and police personnel were reportedly injured when the settlers pelted brickbats at them.

Police arrested another four settlers from the scene, sources further said. The arrested were sent to the Baghaichari police station.

Selim Uddin Bahari was one of the masterminds behind the 20 April deadly settler attack in Sajek in which 77 Jumma houses were burnt down. The Jummas are still reeling from the said attack.

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