A year has passed since the Chakma community of Longadu upazila had their houses vandalised and torched by settlers. We understand that some 200 houses were gutted making some 1,500 families homeless. What is beyond comprehension of course is why authorities have failed to start reconstruction of the houses that were lost due to arson and vandalism. Unfortunately, members of the affected community have had to fend for themselves for the past year. Not only have they lost their homes, none of the attackers have been apprehended let alone punished.
The barbarity suffered by this minority community and the failure of the administration to take steps to rehabilitate them does little to uplift our image as a tolerant society. They are citizens of Bangladesh and entitled to justice under the law. While the government has been providing 30kg of rice per month it is hardly enough to feed a family. And with no home, these Chakma families have had to fend for themselves living in squalid conditions or living with relatives. It is high time that the authorities took steps for their proper rehabilitation and compensate those who have lost their houses. It is also important to ensure their safety so that there is no repetition of these attacks in future and that would involve bringing criminal charges against those involved in the arson that took place last year.