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Don't make them homeless

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29th-Jul-2019       
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THREE indigenous villages of Bandarban Sadar Upazila are facing the threat of grabbing from a resort owner who intends to build a Five-Star Hotel in the area. The three villages -- Saingya Tripura Para, Laimi Para, and Hati Bhanga Para -- are home to 170 families and span over 250 acres of land. The grabbers for securing the lands destroyed jhum lands owned by indigenous people and filed a false case against them. Not only that, natural water sources were destroyed by the grabbers and roads were blocked between the three localities. The grabbing company is allegedly owned by a politically influential person.
Newspapers reported the panic-stricken families in the villages have already sought help from the Local Administration. But the law enforcing agencies are helping the grabbers by arresting the indigenous people in the false case. As per the reports, land grabbing started almost two and a half years ago after selecting the land as a suitable location for the Five-Star Hotel. The land grabber at first had lent money to the poor indigenous families in Saingya Marma Para. When they failed to pay the money back, he evicted them and grabbed their land.
Human rights activists said human rights of indigenous people in Bandarban are being violated while they are facing eviction threats. In the name of promoting tourism, many indigenous families have already been evicted. Crimes committed here following patron-client relation between law enforcers and the criminals. Since the signing of the CHT Peace Treaty in 1997, a total of 13 indigenous villages were allegedly grabbed in four Upazilas of Bandarban.
Earlier, we observed politically influential men with the help of police torched Santals homestead in Dinajpur and occupied their lands. Across the country, thugs are active in evicting ethnic and religious minorities though the government firmed its stance in protecting them. We don't want to see any such type of incident again in any part of the country.  


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