'Try killers of Soren'
The indigenous people living in northern districts yesterday observed the tenth death anniversary of their leader Alfred Soren with a demand to complete the trial of his killers.
On this day in 2000, musclemen of Local landlords-- Hatem Ali and Shitesh Chandra Bhattacharya--killed Alfred Soren at Bhimpur in Naogaon district as he tried to resist their bid to evict 22 indigenous families from the village.
They placed wreaths at Alfred's grave at Bhimpur in the morning and formed human chains at Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and Dinajpur districts demanding exemplary punishment to the killers.
At a discussion in Rajshahi, the leaders of different indigenous communities demanded formation of a separate land commission to ensue land rights of the indigenous people living in plain lands. They also urged the government to ensure security of the indigenous people as a deep sense of insecurity is still prevailing among them.
They said the government should immediately settle the land issues and take steps to return the lands, which were captured by landlords.
Alfred murder case that was lodged by his sister Rebeka Soren has remained stalled since 2003 and the police outpost, set up at Bhimpur village immediately after the incident, was also withdrawn. After withdrawal of the police camp, seven families including the Alfred's were forced to leave Bhimpur.
Alfred's wife Jotsna Soren now lives at a Dinajpur church while her daughter Jhorna Soren studies at a missionary school in Joypurhat. Alfred's brother Komol Soren had to flee to Tanore in Rajshahi following threats by the killers.
Police, however, pressed charges against 91 people including Hatem and Shitesh in Alfred murder case. Statements of 13, out of 41 witnesses were recorded at a Naogaon court. The accused got bail from the High Court in 2003.