Hill people block road to protest 'land grabbing'
Indigenous people of Lemuchhari under Mohalchhari upazila of Khagrachhari district yesterday blocked Rangamati-Khagrachhari road in protest against alleged land grabbing in the area by the settlers.
They withdrew the road blockade at around 3:00pm after Khagrachhari Deputy Commissioner Anisul Haque Bhuiyan assured them of taking necessary steps to stop capture of their land by the settlers.
The indigenous people alleged that hundreds of Bangalee settlers came to Lemuchhari on Sunday morning and constructed 10 thatched houses on 11 acres of land owned by Sunil Kanti Chakma and Ripon Talukder.
The settlers captured the land and built houses on it in presence of the security personnel from Mohalchhari zone and Kerenganala sub-zone, they further alleged.
The ethnic people yesterday staged demonstration at Lemuchhari and destroyed the houses built by the settlers, sources said.
The deputy commissioner along with the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) yesterday visited the spot and pacified the indigenous people.
Mohalchhari Upazila Chairman Sona Ratan Chakma said tension ran high at Lemuchhari after Sunil Kanti and settlers had claimed the ownership of eight acres of land in the area.
Sunil filed a case with Mohalchhari Police Station four days ago, accusing some settlers of 'grabbing' his land.
Deputy Commissioner Anisul Haque Bhuiyan told this correspondent yesterday that he asked the settlers not to claim the ownership of the land until the issue is settled at the court.
Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) yesterday issued a press release, alleging that the settlers backed by local administration are grabbing lands of the indigenous people.
The PCJSS strongly condemned Sunday's incident and demanded removal of the settlers from CHT.
Mohalchhari Bhumi Rakkha Committee in a press release yesterday condemned the incident and demanded return of the lands grabbed by the settlers and removal of settlers from Lemuchhari.