Initiative to set up BGB battalion headquarters on 30 acres of lands evicting 50 families of indigenous villagers in Dighinala

Papen Tripura, 3 October 2013, Dighinala

Recently the Khagrachari district administration has taken initiatives to acquire 31.63 acres of lands belonging to indigenous villagers of three villages namely Santosh Kumar Karbari Para, Gobinda Karbari Para and Notu Chandra Karbari Para of Dighinala union under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari district for establishment of battalion headquarters of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

It is learnt that, in 2002 the Home Ministry ordered the district administration to acquire land for BGB headquarter in order to strengthen security of the Bangladesh–India border of Baghaihat of Baghaichari upazila of Rangamati district and Naraichari of Dighinala upazila of Khagrachari district. The local indigenous villagers fear that at least 50 indigenous families will be evicted from their ancestral land if the scheme is implemented.

On the contrary, the local administration claimed that there are only 2.20 acres of recorded land in the name of one Ramani Mohan Chakma and another one late Birsen Chakma amid 29.81 acres of land under acquisition. The remaining 27.61 acres of land are khas land of the government.

But the indigenous villagers informed that there are recorded land of at least 15 persons and 0.30 acres of land in the name of each 58 persons given settlement by the local headman. Furthermore, there are also 2.00 acres of land recorded in the name of Baghaichari Government Primary School.

The president of school governing committee Mr. Debotoru Chakma informed that there is a helipad, an Ansar camp and an army camp on 5.20 acres of land in the identified area. The helipad was established on 2.00 acres of recoded land of one Bajaram Chakma, the army camp was constructed on the 2.20 acres recoded of land of one late Lalit Mohan Chakma and the Ansar camp was set up on 1.00 acre of recorded land of one Manoranjan Chakma.

The headman of Dighinala mouza Mr. Prantor Chakma said that the intension of government is to occupy the indigenous peoples’ land in the name of construction of army camp or BGB camp. He said that the construction of BGB camp means strengthening the settlement of Bengali settlers at the area.

It is learnt that in 1989 during the critical political situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts, the local indigenous people of the area took refuge in the neighboring country India for safety. At that time, an army zone was established at the area. They returned to the homeland in 1998 after signing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord, but failed to return to their homesteads. After that, they filed a writ petition in 2005 to get back their homesteads.

The Karbari of Sontosh Kumar Karbari Para Mr. Sontosh Kumar Chakma said that in 2005 total 11 persons including him filed a writ petition in High Court to get back their land which was incorporated in the extended area of the army camp. But they have not received any notice yet from the High Court. They have become astonished and helpless when the initiative to establish BGB headquarters has been taken in the meantime. One of the writ petitioners Mr. Ram Chandra Chakma said that there are total 14.20 acres of recorded land of 11 persons including him. As they have not received any notice or decision from High Court even after 8 years, finally they have started to build their homes on that land, but the army authority always obstructed them. At last, on 23 September 2013 a scuffle took place between the indigenous villagers and army due to the obstruction of the soldiers again when the indigenous peoples tried to erect houses on their land.

On 24 September 2013 Democratic Youth Forum, PCP and Hill Women’s Federation, the branches of United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF) organized a protest rally and gathering on 24 September at Dighinala and on 25 September at Khagrachari town against the clash and land grabbing. The secretary of information and publicity department of PCJSS, Mr. Mangal Kumar Chakma, in his reaction said that, construction of BGB camp through evicting public habitation will not be acceptable to anyone. He said, PCJSS would not accept it if the common people are affected.

Regarding the clash of 23 September 2013, Major Moin of Dighinala army zone said that there was no scuffle with anyone of them on that day. Rather, the tribal people were approaching toward them with sharp weaponries. He further added that official initiative is yet to be started to set up camp on this location. However, the government would acquire land through paying reasonable compensations and government can acquire any land as per requirement through paying compensations and any one has to comply with it, he said.

Regarding the setting up of headquarters, Commander of the 51 BGB Lt. Colonel Azad said that district administration was ordered by Home Ministry to manage the land acquirement. They would start construction of BGB battalion headquarters soon after completion of the land acquisition.

The Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Khagrachari district Mr. Masud Karim said that the acquisition process is at the final stage. The land would be acquired except the lands of 10 cases of writ petition in the High Court. When asked whether the matter was discussed with the Hill District Council, the DC said, the land would be acquired through accomplishing all legal procedures.

On the other hand, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord (clause 26b) states, “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no land, hill or forest under the controlled and within the jurisdiction of the Council shall be acquired or transferred by the Government without consultation with or the consent of the Council”.

List of villagers who claim ownership of land:

Jatna Kumar Karberi Para
1. Natun Chandra Chakma, S/O- Jatna Kumar Chakma, Case no-166/Head, Holding no-56/A.
2. Jatna Kumar Chakma, S/O-Golak Chan Chakma, Case no-168/Head, Holding no-57/A.
3. Ashapurna Chakma, S/O- Chandra Kumar Chakma, Case no-144/Head, Holding no-67.
4. Surajoy Chakma, S/O- Gula Chakma, Case no-226/Head, Holding no-51/A.
5. Debabrata Chakma, S/O- Chandra Kumar Chakma, Case no-185/Head, Holding no- 120.
6. Dhhankala Chakma, S/O- Khudi Ram Chakma, Case no-203/Head, Holding no- 253.
7. Mohendra Chakma, S/O- late Puran Chan Chakma, 216/Head, Holding no-430.
8. Khudi Ram Chakma, S/O- late Nagor Chan Chakma, Case no-518/Head, Holding no- 274.
9. Gayanendu Bikash Chakma, S/O- Ranjonsur Chakma, Case no- 245/Head, Holding no- 65/A.
10. Ranjonsur Chakma, S/O- late Surendra Chakma, Case no-244/Head, Holding no-60/A.
11. Tandra Chakma, W/O- Ashapurna Chakma, Case no-237/Head, Holding no- 119.
12. Sunadi Chakma, S/O- Khudi Ram Chakma, Case no-176/Head, Holding no- 252.
13. Aswhini Kumar Chakma, S/O- late Sadhan Chandra Chakma, Case no-170/Head, Holding no- 249.
14. Prashanta Chakma, S/O- Doya Mohan Chakma, Case no-491/Head, Holding no-236/266.
15. Debataru Chakma, S/O- Doya Mohan Chakma, Case no-492/Head, Holding no- 237/267.
16. Bimal Kanti Chakma, S/O Ranjanya Chakma, Case no-412/A, Holding no- 806/A.
17. Tapan Jyoti Chakma, S/O- Kamal Kumar Chakma, Case no-410/A, Holding no-804/A.
18. Biwshajit Chakma S/O- Rajib Lochan Chakma, Case no-475/A, Holding no- 869/A.
19. Jagajya Chakma, S/O- Rangachula Chakma, Case no-452/08, Holding no-09/845.
20. Babul Kanti Chakma, S/O- Laxmi Kumar Chakma, Case no-452/06, Holding no-07/845.
21. Sanakkya Chakma, S/O- Pryo Ranjion Chakma, Case no-452/05, Holding no- 06/845.
22. Kamalendu Chakma, S/O- Kalidar Chakma, Case no- 452/09, Holding no-10/845.
23. Dharma Dhan Chakma, S/O- Rangauda Chakma, Case no-452/04, Holding no-05/845.
24. Sangha Ratan Chakma, S/O- Surajoy Chakma, Case no-452/03, Holding no-04/845.
25. Laxmi Kummar Chakma, S/O- Late Indrajoy Chakma, Case no-452/02, Holding no-03/845.
26. Tatul Kanti Chakma, S/O- Laxmi Kumar Chakma, Case no-452/01, Holding no-02/845.
27. Gayna Ranjion Chakma, S/O- Rangamuoa Chakma, Case no-267, Holding no- 662.
28. Prodip Chandra Chakma, S/O-Late Ananda Kumar Chakma, Case no-295, Holding no- 689.
29. Bindu Chakma, S/O- Ranjon Sur Chakma, Case no- 369, Holding no- 762/763.
30. Badi Chan Cahkma, S/O- Probhat Chandra Chakma, Case no-374, Holding no- 768/A.
31. Sadhan Bikash Chakma, S/O- Lalit Sona Chakma, Case no-385, Holding no- 780/A.
32. Priyo Ranjion Chakma, S/O- Sadhan Chandra Chkma, Case no-399, Holding no-793/A.
33. Mrinal kanti Chakma, S/O- Bana Chakma, Case no- 401/A, Holding no-795/A.
34. Kamala Ratan Chakma, S/O- Surajoy Chakma, Case no- 452/A, Holding no-845/A.
35. Lelin Chakma S/O Rajib Lochan Chakma, Case no-29/452, Holding no-30/845.

Shashi Mohan Karbari Para
1. Shachindra Lal Chakma, S/O-Shashi Mohan Chakma, Case no-517/A, Holding no- 912.
2. Babul Kanti Chakma, S/O- Shachindra Lal Chakma, Case no-467/A, Holding no- 861/A.
3. Amor Chakma, S/O- Baja Ram Chakma, Case no- 471/A, Holding no- 861/A.
4. Santosh Kumar Chakma, S/O- Shashi Mohan Chakma, Case no- 623/A, Holding no- 1018.
5. Smriti Moy Chakma, S/O-late Ananda Mohan Chakma, Case no- 10/452, Holding no-11/845.
6. Baja Ram Chakma, S/O- late Shashi Mohan Chakma, Case no-11/452, Holding no- 12/845.
7. Purna Chandra Chakma, S/O- late Shashi Mohan Chakma, Case no-12/452, Holding no-13/845.
8. Jagadish Chakma, S/O- late Ananda Mohan Chakma, Case no-13/452,Holding no- 14/845.
9. Debataru Chakma, S/O- Kali Mohan Chakma, Case no- 14/452, Holding no-15/845.
10. Kalpataru Chakma, S/O- Kali Mohan Chakma, Case no-15/452, Holding no-16/845.
11. Dipayon Chakma, S/O- Kali Mohan Chakma, Case no- 16/452, Holding no-17/845.
12. Shukra Mohan Chakma, S/O- late Dhananjoy Chakma, Case no- 17/452, Holding no- 18/845.
13. Priyo Kanti Chakma, S/O- late Dhananjoy Chakma, Case no- 18/452, Holding no-19/845.
14. Kanti Chakma, S/O- Santosh Kumar Chakma, Case no- 19/452, Holding no- 20/845.
15. Sunil Kanti Chakma, S/O- Santosh Kumar Chakma, Case no- 20/452, Holding no-21/845.
16. Shyamol Chakma, S/O- late Ratna Kumar Chakma, Case no-21/452, Holding no- 22/845.
17. Midhu Ram Chakma, S/O- late Ratna Kumar Chakma, Case no- 22/452, Holding no- 23/845.
18. Fareya Chakma, S/O- late Medojya Chakma, Case no- 23/452, Holding no-24/845.
19. Kista Ranjion Chakma, S/O- late Ara Kumar Chakma, Case no-24/452, Holding no 25/845.
20. Bilaha Sundari Chakma, W/O- late Ananda Mohan Chakma, Case no-25/452, Holding no-26/845.
21. Sonadhan Chakma, S/O- Senha Ranjion Chakma, Case no- 26/452, Holding no- 27/845.
22. Chandak Cahkma, S/O- Foreya Chakma, Case no-27/452, Holding no-28/845.
23. Ripan Cahkma, S/O- unkown, Case no-28/452, Holding no-29/845.