Land ownership of indigenous community in CHT decreased by 51 percent: Eminent citizens
Expressing concern over the grabbing of Jhum gardens, hills and land of indigenous people, 24 eminent citizens today said in the last 30 years, the ownership of land of indigenous community in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) have decreased by 51 percent due to the continuous grabbing.
Although the land ownership of the indigenous community in CHT was determined by the existing law of the country, the land ownership of the indigenous people in CHT is based on social contracts, said 24 eminent citizens in a statement.
"The principle of 'universal property ownership rights' is on the basis of their land ownership. This property ownership is verbal in family inheritance. This is managed by the Headmen and Karbari of the CHT regions," stated the statement.
"More than half of the hill's social ownership of land and resources has been lost," the statement said.
In the statement, the eminent citizens expressed their anger for not taking any visible steps by the local administration to curb the grabbing of Langkom Karbari Para, Joychandra Tripura Karbari Para and Rangen Karbari Para of Sarai union in Lama upazila of Bandarban.
We are aggrieved that the local administration did not take any steps to provide justice, but rather it did nothing to support the affected families, it stated.
They demanded immediate completion of an impartial investigation into the occupation of Jhum gardens, hills and land of indigenous people at Sorai union in Lama upazila of Bandarban, immediate arrest of the land grabbers and to take legal action against them.
The Daily Star recently published a report entitled "Protect our neighborhoods" in its Bangla platform.
The signatories include Pankaj Bhattacharya, President of Oikya NAP, Rasheda K Chowdhury, a former adviser to the caretaker government, Ramendu Majumder, Presidium Member of Sammilita Samajik Andolon, Sarwar Ali, Trustee, Liberation War Museum, Fauzia Moslem, President, Bangladesh Mohila Parishad, Khushi Kabir, Human Rights Activist and MM Akash, Professor, Dhaka University.