Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013

Attack on Indigenous Communities in Matiranga

High-powered judicial probe committee demanded

People of different indigenous communities at a press conference yesterday demanded a high-powered judicial probe committee to investigate the recent attack on indigenous communities in Matiranga upazila under Khagrachari district.
They also demanded the authority compensate the families that were affected during the arson attack allegedly by Bangalee settlers.
The authorities should take necessary steps to rehabilitate the victims, the speakers said at the press conference organised in Dhaka Reporters’ Unity by a body of professionals from different sectors.
Following the attack on August 3, a total of 380 families of indigenous Tripura community fled and took shelter in neighbouring areas, according to Kapeng Foundation, a human rights organisation for indigenous people.
Of those families, 59 are from Purabali village, 165 from Headman Para, 140 from Laifu Kumar Karbari Para and 20 from Krishna Doyal Karbari Para under Taindong union of Matiranga.
The families took shelter at Prafulla Karbari Para, Nabaratna Karbari Para, Moratila, Rohindra Karbari Para and Subal Karbari Para under Latiban and Ultachari unions in Panchari upazila.
Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, urged the National Human Rights Commission to visit the area and form a team to investigate the attack.
Meanwhile, some indigenous families, who had fled their homes and took shelter near the Indian border areas, returned home on Sunday.
They returned following State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs Dipankar Talukdar’s assurance that they will be rehabilitated.
On August 3, Bangalee settlers allegedly torched and looted houses of indigenous community families in Matiranga following abduction of a motorbike rider, Md Kamal, 32, from Taindang area.
A case was filed against 175 with Matiranga Police Station in this connection on August 5.
Police arrested four settlers for their alleged involvement in the attack.
Condemning such communal attacks on the Hilly people, columnist Syed Abul Maksud said billboards telling success of the government are all over the city at present.
“What if indigenous communities now publish government’s negligence regarding them on the billboards?” he asked.