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A protest rally organized by Dhaka-based tribal student organizations was organized in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh in Dhaka on Thursday to protest against the poisoning of the only water source in Lamay Rengyen neighborhood of Bandarban and to demand the protection of four hundred acres of land belonging to the local tribals.
The central vice president of Bangladesh Mro Students Association and student of Dhaka University Chang Yong Mro presided over this gathering. Dhaka University senior student Danwai Mro spoke in solidarity with Dhaka University student and PCP DU branch member Shaishanu Marma, Bangladesh Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad General Secretary Alik Mr, Bangladesh Adivasi Youth Forum President Anant Bikash Dhamai, Lama Sarai Bhumi Raksha Sangram Committee. ‘s convener Rangdhanu Tripura, Bangladesh Marma Students Council (BMSC) Dhaka Metropolitan Co-Organizing Secretary Angsue Ching Marma, Chittagong Hill Tracts Students Parishad Dhaka Metropolitan Branch President Reng Yong Mro along with Hon.
Anant Vikas Dhamai said that the land commission was formed for the land rights of the tribals of the hills. But because it is not effective, incidents of tribal eviction like Lama are going to happen again and again. I strongly demand the formation of a separate land commission for the tribals of the plains with immediate effect of the hill land commission.
Student leader Alik Mri said, Lamay first tried to kill them with rice by setting fire to the land of tribals. Then again the people of the rubber company are trying to kill the water by poisoning the water source. We do not expect any of these incidents to be addressed by the administration. Because, none of us is safe in the culture of injustice.
He also said that the tribals have been protecting the mountain nature for ages. And the Bengalis of the plains are wasting away. We talk about Pabiresh Raksha. But those who are protecting this environment are being evicted from the land. He also demanded immediate implementation of the Mountain Accord.
Reng Young Mro, President of Chittagong Hill Tracts Student Parishad, Dhaka Metropolitan Branch, spoke in solidarity with the rally.
At the protest rally, he said, Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Commission was formed to protect tribals from land dispossession and ensure their rights over land. We see that the implementation of the Land Commission Act and the running of the Commission’s activities are continuously hampered by the direct support of the administration. Due to which Lamar Sarai union or Chimbu to set up a five-star hotel, land robbers are active in all cases. One after another we have seen attempts to evict the sons of Bhumiputra. We think that these things are happening because of the non-implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts.
He also said that we think that the incident of poisoning by the company’s people in the only Jheri in Rengyen neighborhood of Lamay Sarai Union is an attempt to kill animals and aquatic animals at the same time. The biased behavior of the administration has fueled this crime doubly. Therefore, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Agreement should be implemented immediately with the proper implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Disputes Settlement Commission Act along with proper investigation of these incidents.
Rangdhanu Tripura, convenor of Lama Sarai Bhumi Raksha Sangam Committee, said, seeing the presence of this gathering, I understand that Lama tribals are not alone. We will continue this struggle until we get back four hundred acres of land. We call upon all the progressive people of the country to join this movement.
Anshue Ching, co-organizing secretary of BMSC Dhaka Mahanar and a student of BUET, said that an attempt was made to commit genocide by using poison in Jhiri. Even before this, the land of Jum has been burnt. Even after reporting everything to the local police, they did not take the complaint into account Instead, false cases have been filed against local tribals. We expect these jobs from the state.
DU student and PCP DU branch member Shaishanu Marma said in a solidarity speech that the attempt to take away the land of the tribals of Lama is not today. They have been trying to evict the tribals for a long time. But don’t forget, hillbillies fought armed for their rights. If the land is taken day by day and we are evicted from the soil, then the student society of the hills will not sit. This student leader also warned that the government will have to take responsibility for any untoward situation
Bangladesh Students Union, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation also expressed solidarity in the rally.