Indigenous Tripura villagers attacked again at Mirsarai in Chittagong district

Three Indigenous Tripura villagers including a woman were seriously injured in an attack committed by land grabbers in three separate incidents on 14, 16 and 17 August 2014 at Koila Barapara of Kerethat Union in Mirsarai Upazila of Chittagong district. The attacks were made allegedly to evict Indigenous people from their land.

It is learnt that on 14 August 2014, Md. Zakir Hossain, 50, son of Mohammad Bojler Rahman, of Koila Barapara, seriously assaulted Hiran Kuman Tripura, 28, son of Samacharan Tripura, of the same village in his shop with a bamboo club. The incident occurred because of a minor argument between Hiran Kumar and Zakir Hossain regarding football-playing tricks.

After that on 16 August 2014 at 4:00 pm, as Paklati Tripura, 50, went to Md. Zakir Hossain’s shop, Md. Zakir Hossain randomly beat her with one of his shoes and pushed her down from the top of a hill. Two days earlier Paklati Tripura borrowed a sum of BDT 1,000 from Zakir Hossain for the treatment of her daughter who had been suffering from epilepsy. On 16 August, the incident was occurred, Zakir detained Paklati’s son Monoram Tripura at his shop and demanded for BDT 5,000 instead of the borrowed amount of BDT 1,000. Monoram Tripura somehow managed to escape from there and informed his mother about the incident. Paktali then rushed to Zakir and requested to borrow for some more days to repay the money. After that Zakir rebuked her with coarse language, pulled her out of the shop, beat with one of his shoes and pushed her from the hilltop. Paklati survived serious injury in different parts of her body. Even though some other Indigenous villagers eyewitnesses the incident, they remained silent being fearful about getting victimized similarly by the same miscreant. Paklati was then taken to the hospital.

On 17 August 2014, Md. Zakir Hossain’s son Md. Shipan, 30, assaulted Ratan Kumar Tripura, 35, son of Hederam Tripura, in quite a similar way. On that day Ratan went to Md. Shipan’s shop to collect his daily work wages from Shipan. Instead of paying his daily wages, Shipan asked Ratan to pay for the goods Ratan bought from Shipan’s shop on credit. Then they involved into some minor arguments and at some point Md. Shipan assaulted Ratan with a stick and broke his left arm.

It is alleged by the locals that the all the attacks made upon Indigenous villagers of Koila Boropara were connected to land grabbing. Proper remedy was sought from the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Md. Ashraf Hossain, through a written complaint by Indigenous peoples. But no action was undertaken by the upazila administration up to this writing. Instead the land grabbers have continuously been threatening the Tripura villagers. As a result, the local Indigenous peoples have been passing their days in constant fear and insecurity.

It is learnt that Md. Zakir Hossain is backed by influential Awami League leader, Md. Mohiuddin, who is a member of Ward No. 6 of Karethat union of Mirsarai Upazila, and also the president of the same ward unit of Awami League. He has been the member of that union for 25 years. No one even dares to contest against him in the elections. It is alleged that Md. Mohiuddin remains always behind the scene, and get all the mischiefs done by his brother in law Md. Zakir Hossain and fellows. Md. Zakir Hossain and his fellows have been oppressing local Indigenous Tripura people for quite a while. There are also allegations of land grabbing against the same miscreants. Nevertheless, they have always enjoyed impunity for their misdeeds.