-- Seven arrested so far -- Over 400 sued -- Probe body formed -- Section-144 still remains in force -- DC visits affected areas
-- Seven arrested so far
-- Over 400 sued
-- Probe body formed
-- Section-144 still remains in force
-- DC visits affected areas
More than 400 people were sued today in connection with yesterday’s arson attacks and vandalism in Longadu upazila of Rangamati.
Longadu police filed the case against over 400 people mentioning the names of 15 persons, said Mominul Islam, officer-in-charge of Longadu Police Station.
Two persons -- Saiful and Jewel -- were mentioned as the key accused in the case.
Meanwhile, police have arrested four more persons, raising the number of arrestees to seven in this connection.
In another development, the district administration has formed a three-member probe committee to investigate the arson attacks and vandalism, the OC said.
The people of the Chakma community at three villages -- Tintila, Baittapara and Manikjorchhara -- in the upazila have taken shelter in nearby forests fearing further attacks on their houses.
Our correspondents visiting the upazila found only 20 to 30 people at Tintila village, where some 1,500 to 2,000 people reside.
Yesterday, Bangalee settlers unleashed a series of arson attacks on the Chakma community over the death of a local Jubo League leader, according to police and victims. Later, police arrested three persons in connection with the mayhem.
Read More: Many houses torched in Rangamati
Police recovered the body of Nayan, lying beside a road (Khagrachhari-Dighinala) at Charmile in Khagrachhari, a bordering district of Rangamati.
“It is the sixth time in my life I have had to witness such atrocities,” said Mani Shankar Chakma, general secretary of Jana Sanghati Samiti (JSS), Longadu upazila unit.
“The administration assured us of ensuring security when the settlers brought out the procession with the body of Jubo League leader Nurul Islam Nayan, but some 20 to 30 men from the procession swooped and set fire to our houses,” he alleged.
“We are living in constant fear of further attack with my neighbours taken shelter in nearby forests and relatives’ houses,” said Anjana Maa, a local woman.
The children are the worst victims of this incident as they are suffering from severe crisis of food, Anjana Maa also said.
In the meantime, Manzarul Islam, deputy commissioner of Rangamati, visited the spot this morning and assured of 10 kg rice and some cash for each of the affected families. He also assured them of rehabilitation.
After yesterday’s attacks, indigenous people claimed over 200 homes and shops were vandalised and burned to ashes after they were looted, although an official of Longadu upazila put the figure at 110.
The district administration has imposed section 144 in the area around noon, prohibiting large gatherings in the area after the incident.
Int’l CHT Commission expresses concern
The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission expressed deep concern over the arson attacks at the hill villages of Rangamati.
In a letter addressed to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, the commission said it was “deeply shocked and concerned about this tragic attack”.
They also demanded that the government ensure safety of the victims’ families and provide proper compensation for them immediately.
“At the same time, the CHT Commission urges the government to identify those involved in the communal attacks and bring them under the purview of the law,” the letter reads.