Hundreds of Santal community people in Gaibandha staged a sit-in programme near the office of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) in the town yesterday, demanding immediate submission of the probe report in connection with the incident that killed three Santal men at Sahebganj sugarcane farm in Gobindaganj upazila on November 6, 2016.
The programme was jointly organised by Bagda Farm Bhumi Uddhar Sangram Committee, Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, Bangladesh Adivasi Union, Adivasi-Bangali Sanghati Parishad and Jano Udyog in the town.
Earlier, hundreds of Santal men and women brought out a protest procession, hoisting red flags, placard, banners and festoons, and paraded different roads before staging the hour-long sit-in programme on the main road in front of PBI office in Palashpara area of Gaibandha municipality.
In July 2016, Santal people occupied around 100 acres of land belonging to Rangpur Sugar Mills at Sahebganj sugarcane farm and built makeshift houses there, claiming that the land belonged to their forefathers, speakers at the rally said.
On November 6, the same year, three Santal men -- Shaymol Hembrom, Mongal Murdi and Romesh Todu -- were killed and many others injured during an eviction drive at Sahebganj sugarcane farm, the said.
Police and locals also torched their houses and looted valuables, the speakers said, adding that despite filing of cases no step has been taken against the culprits.
On November 16, 2016 Swapon Murmu filed a case on behalf of the community against 33 people, including former lawmaker Abul Kalam Azad and Sapmara UP Chairman Shakil Akand Bulbul, they said, adding that although police detained three of the accused then, they are now out of jail on bail.
The speakers alleged that although nearly three years have already gone past, family members of the victims neither got any compensation nor the Santals are rehabilitated.
They urged the PBI authorities to submit the investigation report immediately, so that the culprits behind the incident can be brought under trial.