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Reports On Illegal Land Grabbing in some parts of Chittagong Hill Tracts(CHT), Bangladesh

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  • mithun chakma
    Reports On Illegal Land Grabbing in Maischari and Other Three Unions Under Khagrachari District by Hill Watch Human Rights Forum December 13, 2007, Dhaka,
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      Reports On
      Illegal Land Grabbing in Maischari and Other Three Unions Under Khagrachari District

      by




      Hill Watch Human Rights Forum
      December 13, 2007, Dhaka, Bangladesh
      Email: hwhrf.cht@...
      Contents:

      I. Preamble

      II. Findings

      III. Recommendations

      IV. Map of Bengali settlements in
      Kiang-ghat and Maischari Unions

      V. Cases of land grabbing

      i. East Gamaridhala, Dadkuppya, Kamalchari Union

      ii. Tholipara, Noonchari, Khagrachari Union (No. 1)

      iii. Headman Para, Noonchari, Khagrachari Union (No. 1)

      iv. Inner Karallyachari village, Kiang-ghat Union

      v. Rangapanichara, Kiang-ghat Mouza, Kiang-ghat Union

      vi. Hazachara Village, Kiang-ghat Union

      vii. Kiang-ghat village, Kiang-ghat Union

      viii. Ratna Sen Karbari Para, Maischari Union

      ix. Rabi Chandra Para, Maischari Union

      x. Pakujyachari Inner Village, Lemuchari Mouza, Maischari Union

      xi. Poshai Karbari Para, Maischari Union

      xii. South Joysen Para, Lemuchari, Maischari Union

      xiii. Moddyo (Middle) Lemuchari, Lemuchari Mouza, Maischari Union

      xiv. Bodanala, Lemuchari Mouza, Maischari Union

      xv. Lemuchari Boradam, Lemuchari Mouza No. 250, Maischari Union

      VI. Captured land christened "Cutting Tila"

      VII. Land-grab attempt in Lemuchari Boradam

      I. Preamble
      A two-member fact finding team of the Hill Watch Human Rights Forum, a Dhaka-based Human Rights organisation, in collaboration with the Committee for Protection of Land in Mahalchari, conducted an investigation into the problem of recent land grabbing in four Unions (Maischari, Kiang-ghat, Kamalchari and Khagrachari Sadar No.1) under Khagrachari district. The team members (we have deliberately chosen not to mention their identity for fear of reprisals) spent 10 days from 19 to 28 November 2007 in the area interviewing the victims as well as common villagers and visiting the lands grabbed by the settlers. The team members also have had the rare opportunity of being witnesses to a land grabbing attempt by illegal settlers in one of the villages in Maischari.

      II. Findings
      The findings of the investigation by Hill Watch Human Rights Forum have been summerized as follows:

      1. Since March 2007, a total of 399.22 acres of land belonging to 133 Jumma individuals and a primary school in 14 villages under 4 Unions of Mahalchari Thana and Khagrachari Sadar Thana have been forcibly taken away by the illegal plain settlers. The break down of the figures is as follows:


      S. No.
      Name of village
      Number of land owners
      Amount of land grabbed
      1.
      East Gamaridhala, Kamalchari Union
      50
      200.00 acres
      2.
      Ratna Sen Karbari Para, Maischari Union
      7
      12.40 acres
      3.
      Rabi Chandra Para, Maischari Union
      4
      9.60 acres
      4.
      Pakujjyachari Inner Village, Maischari Union
      3
      4.80 acres
      5.
      Posai Karbari Para, Maischari Union
      1
      6.00 acres
      6.
      South Joysen Para, Maischari Union
      6
      9.00 acres
      7.
      Middle Lemuchari, Maischari Union
      9
      34.22 acres
      8.
      Lemuchari Boradam, Maischari Union
      15
      27.00 acres
      9.
      Bodanala, Maischari Union
      6
      15.50 acres
      10.
      Tholipara, Noonchari, Khagrachari Union (No. 1)
      8
      16.20 acres
      11.
      Headman Para, Noonchari, Khagrachari Union (No. 1)
      7
      15.00 acres
      12.
      Rangapanichara, Kiang-ghat Union
      15
      40.00 acres
      13.
      Hazachara Village, Kiang-ghat Union
      1
      3.00 acres
      14.
      Kiang-ghat village, Kiang-ghat Union
      1
      4.00 acres
      15.
      South Joysen Para Community Primary School
      1 school
      2.50 acres

      Total 133 + 1 school 399.22 acres

      2. The military is directly involved in the planning and execution of the programme of recent land grabbing and settlement of the illegal plain settlers. In the initial phase of the settlement, the settlers were brought in from different cluster villages including Bhuiyochari, Mahalchari, Chongrachari, Manikchari, Joysenpara, Kala Pahar and Shalbon of Khagrachari town, and gathered around Dadkuppya army camp. After that, the settlers were implanted on lands forcibly taken away from the Jumma villagers. Some of them even constructed houses right on the courtyards of the Jumma people.

      All the Jumma villagers interviewed by the HWHRF have been unanimous in accusing the army personnel of constantly instigating and abetting the illegal settlers in grabbing Jumma people's lands.

      The army has created a climate of fear among the Jumma people in the area by making arrest of innocent villagers, raiding their houses and harassing them regularly. During a raid on a Jumma village, an army officer reportedly threatened to kill Kalibandhu Tripura in "crossfire", a form of extrajudicial killing widely used by the Rapid Action Battalion in the plain districts of Bangladesh. The raid followed a protest by Mr. Tripura against the illegal grabbing of his land. In addition to general repression on the people, the Headmen and Chairmen of the area have been put under tremendous pressure to aid the settlers in their land grabbing scheme. For example, on 8 December 2007, the second-in-command of Mahalchari Army zone, Major Gaffar called Mr. Niroti Chakma, Headman of Ugudochari Mouza and Mr. Biswajit Chakma, chairman of Kiang-ghat Union, to the zone headquarters and asked them to agree to the army plan to settle more Bengali people in Ugudochari. The Major sought to
      coerce them into agreeing the plan and said: "I can put you in a dungeon any time. So do as you are told. You must look into the matter of the Bengalis".

      The Hill Peace Group in its recent report entitled Nij Deshe Porobashi (Refugee in Homeland) has also accused the army of carrying corrugated iron sheets and wooden poles in military vehicles for the construction of houses for the illegal settlers in a Tripura village in Noonchari.

      3. With regard to the lands grabbed by the settlers, the victims have either valid documents or have been in actual and uninterrupted possession of them for 15 - 40 years. When the Jumma villagers showed their land documents, the army personnel brushed them aside.

      4. The local civil administration has done nothing to stop illegal land grabbing. Some of the victims lodged complaints with the Thana Nirbahi Officer of Mahalchari, but no tangible result came out. No action was taken against the land grabbers.

      5. Some of the victims have been forced to leave their homesteads for fear of attack from the settlers, while some others had to go into hiding for fear of arrest.

      6. The Jummas have teak orchards, bamboo groves and fruit gardens grown on the lands taken away by the settlers. Now the settlers are enjoying all these, while the Jummas cannot enter their orchards and cut trees.

      7. In short, the recent land grabbing in Mahalchari is far from an isolated incident. It is preplanned and orchestrated by a section of the Bangladesh Army deployed in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The timing of the land grabbing scheme has been deliberately chosen to coincide with the state of emergency imposed on 11 January this year (2007) so that no open and organised mass protest can be organised against it.

      8. The problem of land grabbing in CHT in general and in Maischari and its contiguous areas in particular is nothing new. In 1979 - 84 approximately 400,000 illegal plain settlers were brought in the CHT from plain districts of Bangladesh to use them as a tool of ethnic cleansing ­against the Jumma people. This resulted in massive violation of human rights and alienation of the Jumma people from their ancestral lands.

      Even after the signing of the CHT accord on 2 December 1997 between the government of Bangladesh and the Jana Samhati Samiti, land grabbing continued in Mahalchari. During the investigation, the team members also found numerous cases of land grabbing that took place in 2003, 2004 and 2006.


      III. Recommendations
      The land grabbing in four Unions under Khagrachari district is unlawful, unjust and contrary to the provisions of the CHT accord of 1997. The civil as well as military administrations of Khagrachari are criminally liable for doing nothing to stop it.

      The Hill Watch Human Rights Forum urges the interim caretaker government of Dr. Fakruddin Ahmed to take the following measures:

      1. To immediately take effective measures to stop illegal land grabbing in four Unions under Mahalchari and Khagrachari Sadar Upazillas and to return the grabbed lands to their rightful owners;

      2. To bring the illegal land grabbers and their abettors to justice and to take appropriate steps to prevent recurrence of such illegal land grabbing in the future; and

      3. To recognize the traditional land laws of the Jumma people and rehabilitate the illegal settlers elsewhere in the plain districts for a permanent solution to the vexed land problem in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.


      To the international community:
      Hill Watch Human Rights Forum requests the international community including the United Nations and other human rights organisations to urge the government of Bangladesh to implement the above-mentioned recommendations.


      IV. Map of Bengali settlements in Kiang-ghat and Maischari Unions

      V. Cases of land grabbing

      [The following cases of land grabbing have been prepared jointly by the Committee for Protection of Land in Mahalchari and Hill Watch Human Rights Forum.]


      i. East Gamaridhala, Dadkuppya, Kamalchari Union

      1. Army-sponsored settlement on 100 acres of Jumma land
      An estimated 200 illegal Bengali settler families have been settled on about 200 acres of land belonging to the Jumma people in East Gamaridhala village under Dadkuppy Mouza (No. 259), a few kilometers south of Khagrachari district town.

      The settlers were brought in from Bhuiyochari, Mahalchari, Chongrachari, Manikchari, Joysenpara, Kala Pahar, Shalbon of Khagrachari town and Aam Bagan and Lichu Bagan areas of Maischari in the first week of July 2007. The army was directly responsible for the planning and execution of this new Bengali settlement programme.

      The army is reported to have resorted to threats of depriving of government facilities including cancellation of ration cards when some of the settlers expressed reservation about settling on the newly captured lands.

      Initially, the settler families were gathered around Dadkuppya army camp. Then, they were settled on lands of the Jumma people. Even many of them were implanted near the houses of the Jumma villagers. The Jummas protested and showed valid land documents, but that did not deter the army.


      ii. Tholipara, Noonchari, Khagrachari Union (No. 1)

      1. Illegal possession of Kalibandhu Tripura's land and threat to kill him in "crossfire"
      A Bengali settler named Hazor Ali grabbed a small piece of land (.50 acres) belonging to Kalibandhu Tripura s/o Tangerai Tripura in the village of Noonchari Tholi Para and planted banana saplings with the help of the army.

      When Mr. Tripura protested, the settler reported it to the nearby army camp. Acting on his baseless allegations, a group of army personnel raided the village and searched for Kalibandhu Tripura with the intention to arrest him. However, Mr. Tripura managed to run away evading arrest. After failing to arrest him, the army personnel gathered the villagers and told them that if they got hold of Kalibandhu Tripura, they would "put him to crossfire".

      2. Seven Jumma villagers' 15.5 acres grabbed
      On 3 March and 6 October 2007, the settlers from Machyochara cluster village illegally captured 15 acres of third class hilly land and 0.50 decimals of first class arable land belonging to 8 individual Jumma villagers in Noonchari Tholipara.

      Shanti Lal Tripura's (s/o Bino Bhushan Tripura) 20 decimals of first class land were grabbed by Hashem Ali of Machyochara cluster village on 6 October 2007.

      The rest were captured on 3 March 3007. Two acres of third class land belonging to Rajani Tripura s/o Indra Moni Tripura were captured by Chand Mian, while five acres belonging to Aroti Mohan Tripura s/o Ananda Tripura by Hashem Ali, one acre belonging to Chakhoja Tripura s/o Nano Kumar Tripura by Md. Shahajahan, five acres belonging to Chironjit Tripura s/o Bosh Kumar Tripura by Md. Shamsu, two acres belonging to Mohendra Tripura s/o Birendra Tripura by Bila Ali and 30 decimals of first class paddy land belonging to Kalibandhu Tripura s/o Tangey Roy Tripura by Md. Hazrat s/o Shamshu.

      The settlers have constructed houses on those lands with the help of army personnel from Bizitola camp.

      3. Shanti Lal Tripura's 20 decimals of paddy land grabbed
      On 6 October 2007, Mohammad Hashem Ali from Maischari cluster village forcibly grabbed 20 decimals of first class paddy land belonging to Shanti Lal Tripura s/o Bin Bhushan Tripura. Mohammad Hashem originally came from the plain district of Norshingdi.

      Army personnel from Bizitola camp (24 Bengal) helped him grab the land.


      iii. Headman Para, Noonchari, Khagrachari Union (No. 1)

      1. Manikya Tripura's courtyard grabbed

      About 10 - 12 Bengali settlers led by Hashem Ali constructed houses in the courtyard of Manikya Tripura s/o Odhiar Tripura in the village of Noonchari Headman Para. Mr. Tripura is a poor day-labourer.

      When protested, Hashem Ali introduced himself as a Village Defense Party leader and threatened Mr. Tripura with dire consequences.

      At one stage, the settler took a few things out of his newly built houses, placed them on the courtyard and set them on fire. After that, he went to the Bizitola army camp and falsely reported that all his belongings had been burnt down by the Jumma villagers. The army commander called the Jummas to the camp and threatened that if they "went beyond the limit" they would be implicated in arms cases.

      A settler named Antor Ali of Machyochara cluster village also captured Manikya Tripura's 2 acres of third class land on 3 March 2007.

      2. 13 acres belonging to 6 individual Jummas grabbed
      On 3 March 2007, settlers from Machyochara cluster village forcibly occupied 13 acres of third class land belonging to 6 individual Jummas in Noonchari Headman Para.

      While 3 acres belonging to Kachari Kumar Tripura s/o Toru Kumar Tripura were captured by Md. Haneef, 3 acres belonging to Mrs. Deepali Tripura (husband's name late Bhupati Tripura) by Shahajahan, 1 acre belonging to Krishna Kumar Tripura by Md. Joshim s/o Shamsu, 2 acres belonging to Nohey Ranjan Tripura s/o Leela Mohan Tripura by Shahajahan and Antor Ali, 2 acres belonging to Chukkura Tripura s/o Manikya Tripura by Md. Rahim s/o Asgor Ali and 2 acres belonging to Chirojjyoti Tripura s/o Poti Pabon Tripura by Alauddin.


      iv. Inner Karallyachari village, Kiang-ghat Union

      1. Settler attempt at grabbing 100 acres of land
      On 4 and 5 November 2007, the illegal plain settlers made an attempt to capture 100 acres of land belonging to individual Jummas in the village of Inner Karallyachari.

      On 4 November, two groups of settlers - one from Kiang-ghat led by Mobarrok (50) and Majid (50) and the other from Noonchari led by Lebu (45) - converged on an area of the land and began cutting jungle for construction of house and grass for their cattle. Armed with Dao (a kind of knife), axe and stick, each of the groups had about 20 male settler members.

      When the head of the village Mr. Nikhil Karbari (35) protested, the settlers paid no heed to him. Rather, Mobarok threatened him with dire consequences and said in an arrogant manner, "we will come back tomorrow; resist if you can".

      True to his words, the following day, i.e. 5 November, one group of settlers led by Majid, staged a come back. As they began clearing jungle, the Jumma villagers made a strong protest and asked them who had told them to grab other people's land. In reply Majid said: "the government no longer allows us to live where we live now; that is why we are clearing jungle here".

      However, after the second protest, the settlers did not come back.

      These 100 acres of land are owned by some individual Jummas. For example, Mr. Ananda Chakma (50), head master of Ugudochari Primary School, has four acres along with teak trees; Mr. Biro Bal Chakma (47) s/o Goyasur Chakma 10 acres and Mr. Nikhil Karbari (35) one acre.


      v. Rangapanichara, Kiang-ghat Mouza, Kiang-ghat Union

      1. Sumati Talukder's 5 acres of land grabbed
      In August 2007, 10 - 12 settler families forcibly occupied 5 acres of third class land belonging to Sumati Talukder (45) s/o Bijoy Talukder. He had been enjoying the said land for the last 50 years and he had grown teak, Gamari and Gorjon trees and a bamboo grove. Previously, he had a farm house there.

      The land was grabbed by Md. Shamshu Leader (55) and another Shamshu (60) of Kiang-ghat cluster villgae and Hashmot Ali (55) and Arshad of Mahalchari cluster village.

      There was protest at the time the settlers were beginning to occupy the land. But the settlers threatened the Jummas with army torture and built 10 - 12 makeshift houses.

      2. Shanti Moy Talukder's 2 acres of land grabbed
      In March - April 2007, settlers led by Shamshu Leader and Hashmot Ali from Kiang-ghat cluster village illegally occupied 2 acres of third class land belonging to Shanti Moy Talukder (42) s/o Tarun Mohan Talukder. He is the headmaster of Rangapanichara Registered Primary School.

      Four settler families have built houses in his land.

      He has got a total of 5 acres of third class land in that area in three separate plots which are now under settlement process. The settlement case No. is 166/2000. Of these 5 acres, the settlers have grabbed 2 acres.

      Before illegal occupation, Shanti Moy Chakma let his cousin Dipon Talukder (30) s/o Prithi Bachan Talukder to live in the said land. However, as the settlers took illegal possession of it, he was forced to leave.

      3. Dharaj Chandra Talukder's 3 acres grabbed
      In March - April 2007, settlers led by Shamshu Leader (55) from Kiang-ghat cluster village grabbed 3 acres of third class land belonging to Dharaj Chandra Talukder (60) s/o late Nogendra Kumar Talukder. He is a poor day labourer.

      Four settler families have built houses on his land, which is under settlement process. The settlement case No. is 42/2001. Mr. Talukder had been in possession of the said land for the last 20 years. The different species of trees that he planted on this piece of land are now 12 - 15 years old.

      The illegal occupiers have destroyed his bamboo grove and are now planting turmeric and fruit trees on his land.

      4. Shimal Kanti Talukder's land grabbed
      In March - April 2007, settlers led by Shamshu Leader from Kinag-ghat cluster village forcibly occupied 3 acres of land belonging to Shimal Kanti Talukder (40) s/o Birendra Mohan Talukder. Currently 15 illegal settler families have built houses there.

      He had been in possession of the said land for the last 10 years. He has grown Gorjon and Gamari trees there. The settlers are now enjoying those trees and growing potatoes and other vegitables.

      This piece of land is under settlement process, the case No. of which is 43/2001. Plot No. 1873 and 1874.

      5. Hridoy Mohan Talukder's land taken away
      In March - April 2007, settlers from Kiang-ghat and Pakujjyachari cluster village took away 3 acres of land belonging to Hridoy Mohan Talukder s/o Amish Chandra Talukder. He had been in possession of the said land since 1965.

      The illegal occupiers have been identified as Abdul Gafur s/o Intaz Ali, Hayet Ali s/o Jobbar Sheikh, Ashraf Ali s/o Insaf Ali, Noor Mohammad s/o Cherag Ali, Ainal Haq s/o Ameer Ali, Alam Sheikh s/o Ainal Haq, Ashmot Ali s/o Neim Uddin, Bodiuzzaman s/o Abdur Rahman, Amzad Hossain s/o Julum Uddhin, Shaha Zaman s/o Ainal, Azahar s/o Shukkur Ali and Belal Hossain s/o Shafder Ali. Originally, they came from plain districts of Sylhet, Kurigram and Sirajganj.

      6. Maya Mohan Talukder's 4 acres of land grabbed
      In March - April 2007, illegal settlers from Kiang-ghat and Pakujjyachari cluster village grabbed 3 acres of third class land belonging to Maya Mohan Talukder s/o Inendra Talukder. He had been in possession of the said land since 1965.

      The illegal occupiers have been identified as Afsar Ali s/o Solaiman Mollah, Iltash Ali s/o Elahi Bakhs and Munjeel Ali s/o Hashem Ali. The settlers originally came from the plain district of Rangpur.

      In another plot, settlers Belayet Hossain s/o Sobhan Ali and Saifur Islam s/o Korban Ali forcibly occupied one acre of land belonging to Maya Mohan Talukder.

      7. Suryo Sen Talukder's land grabbed
      Three acres of third class land belonging to Suryo Sen Talukder s/o Tilok Chandra Talukder have been illegally occupied by settlers from Kiang-ghat and Pakujjyachari cluster villages during state of emergency.

      The illegal occupiers have been identified as Belal Hossain s/o Kashem Ali, Kamal Hossain s/o Rashid Ali, Rabiul Hossain s/o Azizul Haq, Nazimuddin s/o Taher Ali and Sanwar Hossain s/o Delwar Hossain. They came to the CHT from the plain district of Lal Monirhat.

      Mr. Suryo Sen had been in possession of the said land since 1955.

      8. Bijoy Mohan Taluker's land grabbed
      Settlers from Pakujjyachari and Kiang-ghat cluster village grabbed 5 acres of third class hilly land belonging to Bijoy Mohan Talukder s/o Shanta Kumar Talukder. The land has been grabbed during the state of emergency.

      He had been in possession of the said land since 1955.

      The illegal grabbers have been identified as Hashmot Ali, Khalek Leader s/o Fazar Ali, Hashem Mollah s/o Moktar Mollah, Abdul Salam s/o Abdul Rahman and Shahajalal s/o Befa Sarkar. Originally they came from the plain districts of Rangpur and Sirajganj.

      9. Chandra Talukder's 2 acres grabbed
      During state of emergency, Md. Azizur Rahman s/o Noor Mohammad from Kiang-ghat cluster village forcibly occupied 2 acres of land belonging to Chandra Taluker s/o Bir Sen Talukder.

      He had been in possession of the said land since 1975.

      Azizur Rahman originally came from the plain district of Kurigram.

      10. Amrita Sen Talukder's land grabbed
      Ruhul Amin S/o Boktar Ali and Kormot Ali s/o late Nur Mohammad from Pakujjyachari cluster village grabbed one acre of second and third class land belonging to Amrita Sen Talukder s/o Tilak Chandra Talukder. The settlers originally came from plain district of Kurigram.

      Mr. Talukder has grown mixed fruit trees in the said land, which he had been in possession since 1970.

      11. Chandra Chakma's land grabbed
      Chandra Chakma's one acre of third class land was grabbed by Nazrul Islam s/o Korban Ali and Abu Siddique s/o Fikushen from Pakujjyachari cluster village. They originally came from Kurigram.

      Mr. Chakma had been enjoying this piece of land since 1970. The settlers grabbed it after the state of emergency was imposed in the country.

      12. Reboti Mohan Chakma's land grabbed
      Reboti Mohan Chakma's (s/o Rashik Chandra Chakma) 3 acres of land comprising second and third class categories were forcibly occupied by Mostafizur Rahman s/o Siddique Commander and Jahangir Alam s/o Hashmot Ali from Pakujjyachari cluster village. The settlers originally came from Rangpur district in the plain land.

      Of the 3 acres, one acre falls into second class category while the rest comprise of third class category.

      He had been in possession of the said land since 1970 and grown mixed fruit and other threes.

      13. Binod Kumar Chakma's land grabbed
      Settlers Absar Ali s/o Abul Hossain and Kafil Uddin s/o Nur Mohammad grabbed 2 acres of third class land belonging to Binod Kumar Chakma s/o Rashik Chandra Chakma. The settlers originally came from the plain district of Kurigram.

      Mr. Chakma had been in possession of the said land since 1970 and grown an orchard of different species of trees.

      14. Indra Chakma's land grabbed
      Indra Chakma's (s/o Rashik Chandra Chakma) one acre of third class land was forcibly taken away by Sattar Ali s/o Mubarak Ali and Atikur Rahman s/o late Javed Ali from Pakujjyachari cluster village. They originally came from Kurigram district.

      Mr. Chakma had been in possession of the said land since 1970 and has grown an orchard of mixed fruit trees.

      15. Sona Kanti Chakma's land taken away
      Two acres of third class land belonging to Sona Kanti Chakma s/o Beunya Chakma were forcibly occupied by Nur Mohammad s/o Iman Ali and Rafiqul Islam s/o Javed Ali from Pakujjyachari cluster village. They originally came from Kurigram district in the plain land.

      Mr. Chakma had been in possession of the said land since 1970 and has grown different species of trees there.


      Hazachara Village, Kiang-ghat Union

      1. Sona Kanti Chakma's land grabbed
      3 acres of land (one acre second class and 2 acres third class) belonging to Sona Kanti Chakma s/o Beunya Chakma have been forcibly occupied by a group of settlers from Pakujjyachari cluster village. The settlers originally came from the plain district of Lal Monirhat.

      Mr. Chakma had been in possession of the said land since 1970 and has grown an orchard of mixed fruit and other trees.

      The illegal occupiers have been identified as Saiful Islam s/o late Javed Ali, Altaf Ali s/o Chanu Sheikh, Lutfar Ali s/o Piku Sheikh, Majnu Rahman s/o late Makbul Rahman, Samad Ali alias Kamal s/o Mohiuddin, Hakim Ali s/o unknown, Sajan Mian s/o Habibur Rahman, Belal Hossain s/o unknown and Osamn Ali s/o Hikim Ali.


      Kiang-ghat village, Kiang-ghat Union

      1. Lorai Chandra Karbari's 4 acres of land grabbed
      Settlers from Kiang-ghat and Pakujjyachari cluster villages grabbed 4 acres of land belonging to Lorai Chandra Karbari s/o Chenda Karbari. He had been in possession of the said land since 1965.

      The land has been seized in phases beginning from 1982. The last phase began after the state of emergency was imposed on 11 January this year.

      The illegal settlers involved in the forcible occupation of his land, have been identified as Md. Abu Siddique, Juran Ali, Rashid, Sirajul Islam, Mozhar and Jamal. They originally came from Rangpur district in the plain land.

      Mr. Chakma has grown an orchard of mixed fruit and other trees on his land.


      vi. Ratna Sen Karbari Para, Maischari Union

      1. Seven Jumma's 12.40 acres grabbed
      About 30 illegal plain settler families have been moved to Ratna Sen Karbari Para, while another 30 families have been illegally settled on Jumma people's lands in Rabi Chandra Para in Maischari Union.

      In Ratna Sen Para, five settler families forcibly took away 1.6 acres of land along with a teak plantation belonging to Moyur Kanti Chakma. The settlers built houses on the captured land. Besides that, 4 acres belonging to Jyotsna Kanti Chakma and Sukriti Chakma, 1.6 acres belonging to Bijimo Chakma, 2 acres belonging to Jyana Chakma, 1.6 acres belonging to Rangey Chakma and 1.6 acres of bamboo orchard belonging to Santosh Moy Chakma have been grabbed by 25 illegal settler families.


      vii. Rabi Chandra Para, Maischari Union

      1. Four Jumma's 9.6 acres grabbed
      In Rabi Chandra Para, 30 settler families have taken illegal possession of 9.6 acres of land belonging to the Jumma villagers. Of these lands, 1.6 acres belong to Nantu Bap, 2 acres each to Motilal Chakma and Kachagulo Chakma and 4 acres to Sudhir Chakma.

      The settlers cut trees and bamboos from the orchards of Kachagulao Chakma and Sudhir Chakma for the construction of the houses.


      viii. Pakujyachari Inner Village, Lemuchari Mouza, Maischari Union

      1. Binod Bihari Chakma's land grabbed
      In the last week of August 2007, a group of settlers led by Taju (40) and Saidur (40) of Pakujyachari cluster village forcibly grabbed 2 acres of third class hilly land belonging to Binod Bihari Chakma (35). The land grabbers built houses within few yards from his own house, dug up the ground of his courtyard and planted trees. Mr. Chakma protested but the settlers paid little heed to it.

      Binod Bihari Chakma has been in possession of this piece of land for the last 16 years. He has grown teak and different kinds of fruits trees including jackfruit, mango and litchi. The settlers are now enjoying them. His family members are being prevented from entering his orchard.

      His wife Ms Angalika Chakma complained: "we had been away for a few days. When we came back we saw the settlers had already built houses on our land. When we asked Taju about it, he simply said 'we built the house because we wanted it'." She urged the government to evict the illegal occupier and return their land.

      2. Attempt at illegal occupation of land of Anil Bikash Chakma
      Taju of Pakujyachari cluster village has been making attempt to capture 20 decimal paddy land and one acre third class hilly land belonging to Anil Bikash Chakma (s/o Madan Mohan Chakma), a poor Jumma peasant.

      In the second week of October 2007, the settlers led by Taju cut teak trees and bamboos from the orchard of Anil Bikash Chakma and sold them in the market. On 11 November, the settlers obstructed his family members planting pepper saplings.

      Anil Bikash Chakma has 2 acres of paddy land and 6 acres of third class hilly land, which he has inherited from his father. His ancestors had been in possession of these lands for the last 60 years.

      3. Pradeep Chandra Chakma's land captured
      In the first week of November 2007, illegal settlers Taju and Saidur of Pakujyachari cluster village forcibly grabbed one Kani (0.4 acre) of paddy land and one Kani (0.4 acre) of hilly land belonging to Pradeep Chandra Chakma (50).

      Mr. Chakma has been enjoying these lands uninterruptedly for many years. The grabbers caused damage to the paddy and the isles of the land and grazed their cows. When Mr. Chakma protested, the settlers became aggressive.

      Besides, in October Saidur and Taju are also suspected of destroying the betel-leaf plantation of his brother Amar Kanti Chakma by sprinkling saline water on it.

      4. UP member's land under occupation
      In the second week of September 2007, Md. Zahidul Islam Zahid (s/o Mofizul Haq), a Bengali settler from Pakujyachari cluster village, took away 2 acres of land belonging to Sneha Kumar Chakma (40), member of Maischari Union Council (Ward No. 4).

      Mr. Chakma had been in possession of this piece of land for 20 years. Besides his home and a granary, the land is covered with betel-nut, coconut and litchi trees.

      The settler built a house after capturing the land and has been living ever since. The army is providing full protection to the settler.

      In 2006, when Mr. Chakma sought to build a new house for himself on one side of the land, the erstwhile Commanding Officer of Mahalchari zone prevented him from doing so.

      5. Attempt at grabbing 40 acres belonging to 9 Jummas
      As we compile the reports, sources from Mahalchari told HWHRF that on 3 December 2007, illegal Bengali settlers from Joysen Para cluster village captured 40 acres of third class hilly land belonging to nine individual Jummas in Pakujjyachari Inner village under Lemuchari Mouza.

      Earlier, from 22 - 29 November, the settlers led by Saheb Ali, Taju, Muniruzzaman, Gazi, Saidur and father of Nazrul had cleared jungle for construction of houses.

      On 3 December, when the settlers came to grab the land again, the Jummas put up resistance to them. However, a group of army personnel from Deppochari (Manikchari) came to the rescue of the settlers, took the Jumma elders to the camp and threatened them with dire consequences if the continued to resist the settlers move. Now, the settlers have begun constructing houses on grabbed land.

      The grabbed lands belong to Rajani Kumar Chakma's three sons - Prem Ranjan Chakma (30), Dipayon Chakma (27) and Pran Moy Chakma (22); late Ananda Kumar Chakma's four sons Binod Kanti Chakma (35), Shyamol Kanti Chakma, Animish Chakma (43), Amar Kanti Chakma (32) and Pradeep Chandra Chakma and another villager Anil Bikash Chakma.

      6. Attempt to capture Sushil Bhushan Chakma's land
      Sushil Bhushan Chakma (42) s/o Ganga Dhar Chakma purchased 1.5 acres of hilly land from Gulmani Chakma s/o late Hakkana Chakma. A settlement deed was executed in relation to the said piece of land in 1964 - 65, the Khatian number (land register) of which is R-23. There are a total of 170 teak and Jackfruit trees and a banana plantation in the said land.

      The settlers are now eying this land to capture. One Abdul Gafur (40) s/o Matruddin of Pakujyachari cluster village has been making attempts to grab it with the help of the army. The soldiers obstructed Sushil Bhushan Chakma when he went there to weed the garden. On 30 October, immediately after that incident, the settlers broke the fence of the garden down and tried to build houses inside. However, in the face of strong protests, the settlers eventually backed off.


      ix. Poshai Karbari Para, Maischari Union

      1. Umong Marma's land taken away
      After the death of Mracha Thoai Marma, his 6 acres of titled land was divested to Umor Marma (35) s/o Rajchandra Marma, one of his close relatives. Apart from a farm house, he had grown mango and jackfruit trees and a teak plantation on this piece of land. In the last week of October 2007, a Bengali settler named Belal illegally occupied the said land.


      x. South Joysen Para, Lemuchari, Maischari Union

      1. Sananta Chakma's 3 acres of land grabbed
      A group of settlers led by Monsur Ali (50) and Village Defense Party member Juran Pighi of Pakujjyachari cluster village forcibly took away 3 acres of third class hilly land belonging to Sananta Chakma, age 26, s/o late Subolesh Chandra Chakma.

      About 10 - 12 settler families constructed houses on the said land that were taken away in phases between 2006 and November 2007.

      For the last 40 years Mr. Chakma had been in uninterrupted possession of this land where he had grown different kinds of fruit and other trees including teak, Gamari and litchi.

      2. Krishna Ranjan Chakma's land grabbed
      In the first week of September 2007, a group of illegal plain settlers forcibly took away one acre of third class land belonging to Krishna Ranjan Chakma (40) s/o late Gujhjoy Chakma.

      The land-grab took place at a time when heavy rains forced people to keep indoors. The settlers came with wooden poles and bamboo-made walls and instantly made house structures on his land.

      Krishna Ranjan Chakma had been enjoying the said land for many years and he had grown banana plantation, jackfruit and teak trees. Now the settlers are enjoying all these.

      3. Parts of Bikalpa Chakma and Karunamoy Chakma's land grabbed
      One out of six acres of third class land belonging to Karunamoy Chakma (40) and his brother Bikalpa Chaka (26) has been taken away by Kutub Uddin (45), an illegal plain settler from Pakujjyachari cluster village.

      In June and July 2007, groups of settlers went there to cut jungle to construct houses. In the end of November they occupied one acre out of six acres.

      The owners have teak trees and banana plantation besides a farm house in the said land. After occupying one acre, the illegal settlers led by Mansur Leader (50) and Mostafa (60) from Pakujjyachari cluster village have been trying to grab the remaining five acres.

      4. Nayanjan Chakma's land grabbed
      Nayanjan Chakma (45) s/o Kandara Chakma of village Deppochari purchased one acre of third class land located in South Joysen Para from Posai Karbari (60) of Posai Karbari Para village under Maischari UP.

      However, in the last week of September 2007, this piece of land was forcibly taken away by Rajjak (35) s/o late Majid, an illegal settler from Pakujjyachari cluster village.

      Before the illegal takeover, Nayanjan Chakma had built a house on the said land. But the marauding settlers destroyed the house and ousted him from there by force. Now the illegal settler family is in physical control of the said land where there are grown-up teak, Gamari and jackfruit trees planted by the original Jumma owners.

      5. Shyamal Chakma's land grabbed
      Shyamal Chakma (40) s/o late Madan Mohan Chakma of Manikchari Chairman Para village had 3 acres of land in South Joysen Para. Taking advantage of the state of emergency imposed in the country in January 2007, illegal plain settlers Aziz (45) and Barek (55) of Pakujjyachari cluster village grabbed the said land with the help of the army. The actual date of the incident could not be known.

      6. School land grabbed
      Three illegal settler families from Pakujjyachari cluster village have taken away two and a half acres of land belonging to South Joysen Para Community Primary School. The lands are registered in 1992 - 93 in the name of the school.

      In the third week of October 2007, families of Shahidul Islam (25) s/o Mokbul, his brother Saiful (22) and Salam (30) s/o Subhan forcibly grabbed the north-eastern part of the land and built houses on it.


      xi. Moddyo (Middle) Lemuchari, Lemuchari Mouza, Maischari Union

      1. Five acres belonging to 3 brothers grabbed
      After the death of Juddha Moni Chakma, his 5 acres of third class land have been bequeathed to his three sons namely Prem Ranjan Chakma (55), Mrinal Kanti Chakma (45) and Khularam Chakma (35). The holding number of the land is R-8.

      On 25 - 26 August 2007, 20 - 25 settler families led by Zahurul Leader (60) forcibly grabbed the said land. Eleven of these settler families have been identified. They are families of Shahajahan (55), Aziz Dokandar (65), Anwar (25), Khokon Ali (30) and his brother Hakim (50), Buro or Old Anwar (65), Jasimuddhin (60) and his brother Jukhumuddhin (65), Salam (35), Nurul Islam Fakir (70) and Tanter Fakir.

      In the said land there are jackfruit trees and a bamboo plantation planted by the original owner. The illegal grabbers built houses with bamboos cut from this plantation.

      Protest
      Initially when a group of about 25 settlers went there to cut jungles for construction of houses, the Jumma land owners lodged a protest against it with AP Battalion camp situated at Lemuchari. Acting upon the said protest, an army Major from Mahalchari zone visited the spot. He however refused to take any action against the land grabbers and the settlers continued their activities despite his presence.

      2. Land belonging to Montu Bikash Chakma occupied
      In August 2007, five illegal settler families led by Abul Leader settled on a piece of land measuring one acre and 22 decimals belonging to Montu Bikash Chakma s/o late Jibrotno Chakma.

      Mr. Chakma inherited three acres of third class land along with Koroi and Kanak trees and a bamboo grove after the death of his father. The Khatian number of that piece of land is R-87. Of the three acres, the government officially requisitioned 1 acre and 78 decimals for the construction of Mahalchari - Khagrachari road, while the remaining was forcibly taken away by the settlers.

      3. Dev Ranjan Chakma's land grabbed
      Nine acres of third class land belonging to Dev Ranjan Chakma, age 65, s/o Ratan Moni Chakma were forcibly taken away by seven illegal settler families from Chongrachari cluster village.

      Of the nine acres, 5 acres are registered in the name of his father Ratan Moni Chakma and the remaining 4 acres in his grand father Batto Chakma's name.

      Situated on Rangamati - Khagrachari road, the land was planted with teak and Gamari trees. Now illegal settlers Salam (45), Nur Amin (42), Shaha Jamal (32) s/o Dano Munshi, Raju (30) s/o Zahurul, Abul Leader (60), Ashraful (27) s/o Rashid and son of Gato Khan grabbed the said land and the trees.

      Dev Ranjan Chakma lodged a complaint with Mahalchari army zone against the theft of his land. A land surveyor came to inquire into the allegation on 24 October 2007. Now the matter is under judicial consideration of the court of the Deputy Commissioner of Khagrachari.

      4. AP Battalion camp on grabbed land
      A camp for the AP Battalion was constructed on 11 acres of land illegally grabbed from three Jumma villagers in Middle Lemuchari.

      Of the 11 acres, 5 acres belong to Kinaram Chakma (75) of Bodanala village and 3 acres each to Kalachogha Chakma (75) and Hemonto Chakma (45) s/o late Chidingey Chakma of Lemuchari village.

      After protest, the camp authority agreed to pay a yearly sum of Taka 3,000 as rent, of which Kinaram would get Tk. 1,800 and the other two would get Tk. 600 each.

      5. Lalit Mohan Chakma's 8 acres of land grabbed, attempt at grabbing his paddy land
      A total of eight acres of land with orchard belonging to Lalit Kumar Chakma (60), head of the village and an ex-member of Lemuchari Union Council (Ward No. 3), were forcibly grabbed by illegal settlers from Chongrachari cluster village.

      The lands were taken away with the help of the army on 25 - 26 August 2007. Since then five settler families have been occupying the land after constructing houses. They are the families of Abul (50), Mozammel (40), Inus Pissi (50), Mollah (60) and Moinal (40) s/o Mollah.

      Army personnel were deployed for their 24-hours protection for at least 20 days since the first day of occupation.

      Of the 8 acres, 3 acres with holding No. R - 65 are covered with teak and

      Gamari trees he had planted 10 years back.

      He also grew teak and Gamari on the other patch of land. The trees are now 15 to 16 years old. In September 2007, 15 illegal settler families led by Zahurul Leader from Chongrachari cluster village constructed houses on this land.

      Attempt at grabbing his paddy land
      The settlers are also trying to capture Lalit Mohan Chakma's registered 4 acres and 28 decimals of first class paddy land under two holdings. Under one holding, (holding No. 245), he has 2 acres and 8 decimals while under holding No. 246 the amount of land is measured 2 acres and 20 decimals. He had duly paid land tax against the said lands for the years up to 2007.

      The settlers damaged paddy crop and turmeric seedlings planted on patches of lands near the paddy field. They are also preventing Lalit Mohan Chakma and his family members from entering his land.

      Protest
      Mr. Lalit Mohan Chakma did not let the illegal occupation of his lands go unprotested. In August 2007, his son, Paritosh Chakma who is currently in the service of the Bangladesh army, lodged a complaint with Mahalchari army zone and demanded justice. But the zone authority refused to take any action against the settlers. Instead, at the instruction of the camp commander a certain army officer called Lalit Mohan Chakma to the camp and threatened him with dire consequences. He told him: "you have been a UP member and so you are a bad person. Do not make fuss about the land-grab or else I will get your son thrown out of job in no time."

      6. Ananta Bihari Chakma's land set to be grabbed
      Five or six settler families from Chongrachari cluster village are now in the final stage of capturing one acre of third class hilly land belonging to Ananta Bihari Chakma, age 50, s/o late Jibo Ratna Chakma.

      Mr. Chakma has grown teak and Gamara orchard on the said land. The number of Gamari trees is 200 and they are over 10 years old, matured enough to be cut and sold off.

      He has been in possession of this land for the last 20 years.

      Three of the settler families involved in the grabbing attempt have been identified as the families of Tofazzal (55), Babu Munchi (50) and Mollah (60).

      7. Attempt at grabbing Bijoy Prashad Chakma's land
      Five settler families from Chongrachari cluster village have been making attempts to capture 3 acres of third class hilly land belonging to Bijoy Prashad Chakma, age 55, s/o late Jibo Ratna Chakma.

      He has been enjoying the said land for the last 20 years and he had planted teak and Gamari trees 7/8 years back. Besides, there is a bamboo orchard grown by him.

      The settlers who have been attempting to grab his land have been identified as Noor Zaman (50), Khadem Ali (50), Anwar Hossain (35), Motaleb Hossain (25) and Mizanur (30).


      xii. Bodanala, Lemuchari Mouza, Maischari Union

      1. Octogenarian Suresh Mohan Talukder's land grabbed
      In August 2007, four illegal settler families grabbed 3 acres of third class hilly land belonging to 80-years old Suresh Mohan Talukder (s/o late Kalachand Talukder) and are attempting to capture 3 acres more under another holding. The Khatian number of the plot of his land is R-30.

      He has grown teak and jackfruit trees on the said land. During armed rebellion of the now-defunct Shanti Bahini, the Bangladesh military personnel had cleared much of his teak orchard.

      The settlers built houses on the captured land, uprooted teak plants and cleared the bamboo grove.

      Of the four settler families settled on his land, one has been identified as the family of Md. Arzal (40) from Mahalchari.

      The other plot of land measuring 3 acres is situated near Rangamati - Khagrachari road. The settlers are also attempting to capture it.

      2. Shushil Jibon Talukder's land grabbed
      In August 2007, twenty illegal settler families forcibly occupied three and a half acres of third class hilly land belonging to Shushil Jibon Talukder (55) s/o Sukhendu Bikash Talukder. The Khatian number of the land holding is R-30.

      Five of the settler families have been identified. They are the families of Malek (60), Denish (20) s/o Malek, Korban Ali (25), Hazrat Ali (60) and Momin (60) from Chongrachari cluster village.

      There are 70 - 80 teak trees on the said land planted by the owner. Of these, the settlers cut down 8 and kept the rest under their control.

      3. Settlers occupy Milan Chakma's courtyard
      Mr. Milan Chakma (50) has been living in his 3 acre plot of land for the last 10 years. He has grown teak and jackfruit trees on it. In August 2007, one Fazar Ali (25) from Chongrachari cluster village forcibly occupied his courtyard and built a house on it.

      When Milan Chakma protested, the illegal settler threatened him with army torture.

      4. Dev Priya and Maha Priya Chakma's land captured
      In August 2007, nine illegal settler families forcibly occupied 3 acres of third class homestead land belonging to two brothers - Dev Priya Chakma and Maha Priya Chakma. The settlers have built houses on the grabbed land.

      The Chakma brothers inherited the land after the death of their father Purno Kumar Chakma. The Khatian number of the plot of the land is R-32 and settlement was granted in the year 1960. They have grown teak, Koroi, Moanchaba and tamarind trees in their orchard.

      In November, the settlers built the houses on the grabbed land. The Chakma brothers are still living in their houses, although the settlers have claimed that they belong to these lands as well.

      Some of the land grabbers have been identified. They are Billah (40) of Mahalchari cluster village, Sona Mian (35), Azad (50), Lal Chand Fakir (65) and Rashid of Pakujjyachari cluster village, Abdus (55) of Joysenpara cluster village and Salimuddin (55) and Jasimuddin (55) from plan districts.

      5. Widowed Mrs. Mongol Pudi Chakma's land grabbed
      Three acres of land belonging to widowed Mrs. Mongol Pudi Chakma (45) were forcibly grabbed by two illegal settler families from Joysen Para cluster village in August 2007. They have already built houses on the grabbed land.

      One of the two settler families involved in the grabbing of her land has been identified as the family of Kalam (55).

      Mrs. Mongol Pudi Chakma has been living there for the last 15 years. She has grown coconut and betel-nut trees on the said land.

      6. Settlers threaten to capture Sorbananda Chakma's land
      Illegal settler Harunur Rashid (45) from Chongrachari cluster village is learnt to have threatened to capture five acres of third class land belonging to Sorbananda Chakma (35) s/o Gyani Mohan Chakma.

      7. Settlers prevent Nishi Kumar Chakma selling his trees
      Nishi Kumar Chakma (40) s/o Jatil Chandra Chakma has grown teak and Gamari orchard over 4 acres of land. The trees are 30 to 40 years old. Recently, when he attempted to sell these trees, the settlers threatened him not to do so.

      8. Attempt at capturing Anil Chandra Talukder's land
      The settlers are reported to have been making desperate attempts to capture 4 acres of third class land belonging to Anil Chandra Talukder (70) s/o late Sukhendu Bikash Talukder. The land was granted to him in 1964 - 66.

      His son Shovan Chandra Talukder (40) has houses built on this plot of land.

      The settlers went there 3 or 4 times to clear jungle for construction of houses. However, when objection was made, they retreated.


      xiii. Lemuchari Boradam, Lemuchari Mouza No. 250, Maischari Union

      1. Pran Krishna Chakma and his two brothers' land grabbed
      Four acres of third class land belonging to Pran Krishna Chakma (40) and his two brothers, Rup Krishna Chakma (35) and Neel Krishna Chakma (30), have been forcibly taken away by three illegal settler families from Chongrachari cluster village.

      The Pran Krishna Chakma's family has been forced to leave their homestead for fear of attack from the settlers.

      They inherited this piece of land with Khatian number R-41 after the death of their father Gyana Lal Chakma. The settlement year of the land was 1965 - 66. They had grown teak, Koroi and Gamari trees on the said land.

      Two of the three illegal settler families involved the land grabbing have been identified. They are families of Javed (26) and Ishak (26).

      The settlers began cutting jungles in the first week of October 2007 and built houses a few days later, on 16 October 2007.

      The three brothers lodged complaints with the local land office as well as with AP Battalion camp at Lemuchari. However, no action was taken against the illegal occupiers.

      Aftermath of the illegal occupation
      In the first week of November 2007, the settlers chased away Mrs. Maya Devi Chakma, wife of Pran Krishna Chakma, when she went to collect firewood in their orchard. Previously, attempts were also made to attack Neel Krishna Chakma and Rup Krishna Chakma.

      2. Shanti Moy Chakma and his two brothers' land occupied
      In the first week of October 2007, settlers from Chongrachari cluster village captured 5 acres of third class land belonging to Shanti Moy Chakma (70) and his two brothers, Indu Moy Chakma (55) and Sukriti Chakma (50).

      They inherited this plot of land settled in 1966 with Khatian number R-35 after the death of their father Joyanta Kumar Chakma. They had planted teak and jackfruit trees on the said land 10 - 12 years back.

      They also have a small piece of paddy land adjacent to the 5 acres hilly land plot. The settlers tried to cause damage to the paddy field.

      Three of the 13 settler families involved in the illegal occupation of the said land have been identified as families of Noor Uddin (40) s/o Salauddin, Tofer (60) and Kalam (35).

      A case has been filed against the illegal land grabbers with the UNO of Mahalchari. An investigation is reported to have been carried out, but no report has so far been submitted. Nor has any action been taken against the offenders.

      3. Suniti Chakma and Sukhomoy Chakma's land grabbed
      Fifteen illegal settler families from Chongrachari cluster village forcibly took away 3 acres of third class land belonging to Sukhomoy Chakma (45) and Suniti Chakma (36) in October 2007. This piece of land with Khatian number R-52 was originally granted to their father Ban Bihari Chakma in 1966.

      There are teak and Gamari trees, banana plantation and bamboo grove on the said land. They also had a farm house there.

      Six of the fifteen settler families involved in the grabbing of the said land have been identified. They are the families of Harun Leader (65), Rashun Ali Munchi (50), Salu (50), Abul (40), Noher (50) and Arzal (55).

      4. Hiranmoy Chakma's land grabbed, mosque built
      In the first week of October 2007, ten settler families from Chongrachari cluster village forcibly captured 3 acres of third class land belonging to Hiranmoy Chakma (40) s/o late Dhan Bihari Chakma. The settlers built houses and a mosque on the grabbed land.

      The land was settled in the year 1966 and the Khatian number is R-55. Before illegal possession by the settlers, Hiranmoy Chakma had a house on this land and he had to leave it for fear of attack from the settlers. He also grew different species of trees on the said land. The settlers are also trying to grab his 1.5 acres of paddy land near the captured land.

      Three of the ten settler families involved in the grabbing of his land have been identified as Jalil (40), Saufi (40) and Dulal Mistri (50).

      5. Nitimoy and Bimal Chakma's land grabbed
      In the first week of October 2007, 14 - 15 settler families from Chongrachari cluster village captured 2 acres of land belonging to Nitimoy Chakma (50) and Bimal Kanti Chakma (45).

      They inherited the said land from their father late Jogendra Lal Chakma, in whose name the land was settled. The Khatian number of the land could not be known.

      On the captured land there are teak, Gamari, jackfruit and mango trees, which are 10 - 12 years old. They also had a farm house over there. But they had to leave it when the settlers took the land.

      The settlers are also making attempts to capture their 2 acres of paddy land near the captured land.

      Six of the settler families involved in the illegal grabbing of the said land have been identified. They are the families of Latif (40), Hazrat (40), Mollah (60), Shahajahan (45), Rafiq (35) and Azizur (40).

      6. Neel Kanti Chakma's land grabbed
      In the first week of October 2007, settlers led by Shaha Jamal alias Fat Sha Jamal from Chongrachari cluster village began the process of illegally capturing 5 acres of third class land belonging to Neel Kanti Chakma s/o Pulin Chandra Chakma.

      The Khatian number of this piece of land is 33. Mr. Neel Kanti Chakma was forced to leave his homestead when the settlers grabbed the land.

      On the captured land, there are jackfruit and teak trees, which he had planted 10 - 15 years ago. The settlers are now cutting those trees.

      7. Naba Ratan Chakma and his two brothers' land grabbed
      In the first week of October 2007, illegal settlers Salam (35) and Motaleb (32) from Chongrachari cluster village grabbed approximately 5 acres of third class land belonging to Naba Ratan Chakma (70) and his two brothers, Mono Ranjan Chakma (60) and Dulal Chandra Chakma (55) s/o late Rashik Chandra Chakma.


      VI. Captured land christened "Cutting Tila"
      The illegal settlers have formed a village after slicing lands off Lemuchari Boradam village and christened it "Cutting Tila". It is situated on the south and west side of Lemuchari Boradam.

      Besides that, in August 2007 another new settler village comprising approximately 100 families has been formed after capturing lands between Lemuchari Boradam and Middle Lemuchari.


      VII. Land-grab attempt in Lemuchari Boradam

      The illegal settlers have been making attempts to capture the lands of the following Jumma villagers in Lemuchari Boradam:

      1. Two brothers - Basuki Chakma (50) and Shanti Chakma (40) s/o late Ramani Kumar Chakma.

      Illegal settler Jalil (50) and his father-in-law from Chongrachari cluster village have been making attempts to grab 5 acres of third class land belonging to the Chakma brothers since the first week of November 2007. The Khatian number of the land plot is R-49. The settlers went there to cut jungle for construction of houses. However, after protest, their attempts failed.

      2. Gunodhar Chakma (65) s/o late Chandra Kumar Chakma. Third class hilly land comprising 5 acres. Khatian number is R-37. He has grown jackfruit and coconut trees on the said land.

      3. Late Kanta Moni Chakma's four sons namely, Abani Kumar Chakma (50), Sabuj Chakma (45), Rummo Chakma (45) and Jibon Pradeep Chakma. The land comprises of 4 acres of third class category, the Khatian number of which is R-40. There are teak, bamboo and different kinds of fruit trees in the orchard.

      4. Ashim Chakma (60), Shubhonkor Chakma (55) and Hemongkor Chakma (35) s/o late Mukundu Chakma. The land area is of third class category and comprises 4 acres. Khatian number is R-42.

      5. Ananda Lata Chakma (60) s/o Shukro Moni Chakma. Third class land comprising 4 acres, with Khatian number R-13. There are teak, litchi, coconut, betel-nut trees and bamboo groves on the said land.

      6. Two brothers Gyani Mohan Chakma (70) and Kamini Chakma (60) s/o late Chandra Ban Chakma. The land area comprises 3 acres. They have been in possession of this land for many years and have grown teak and different kinds of fruit trees.

      7. Sudaksha Chakma (55) s/o late Upendra Lal Chakma. His land falls into third class category and comprises 8 acres, with Khatian number R-33. He has grown teak, Gamari, jackfruit and other fruit trees on the said land.

      8. Shanti Ranjan Chakma (32) s/o Mereiya Chakma. He has got three acres of land under Khatian number R-47. He has grown teak and pineapples on the said land.
      ............................
      Cover photo: Settler women cutting away hay straw from paddy fields of the Jumma villagers at will. Photo taken from Joysen Para.



      Mithun Chakma
      C/O: Hill Literature Forum(HLF)
      94,Aziz Super Market
      Shahbag
      Dhak-1000
      Bangladesh
      cell phone:+88-0152-559763

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