Judicial probe demanded
Expressing concern, rights activists yesterday demanded a judicial probe into police firing and killing of two santals on November 6 over land dispute in Gaibandha.
In a statement, they also sought exemplary punishment for those involved.
Advocate Sultana Kamal, chairperson of Transparency International Bangladesh; Khushi Kabir, coordinator, Nijera Kori; Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director, TIB; Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association; and Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, among others, signed it.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum also protested and demanded return of the lands to the santals, a separate land commission for plainland indigenous people and punishment for the perpetrators.
In another statement, Badaruddin Umar, president of Anti-fascism and Anti-imperialism National Committee, demanded rehabilitation of evicted santals and punishment for those involved in arson, looting, vandalism and opening fire on santals.
A clash between santals and police erupted when mill workers of Rangpur Sugar Mill with hired workers started harvesting sugarcane on the land acquired through displacing ethnic minority communities.