Miscreants attack and grab indigenous people’s land in Tanore

On 30 March 2014, a group of land grabber has grabbed the houses of Indigenous peoples in Pachondor village under Tanore upazila in Rajshahi district. The miscreants forcefully evicted the indigenous peoples from their lands and vandalized their houses showing a court order. Later it was learnt that the miscreants produced false court documents with an intention to grab the lands of indigenous people.

According to the locals, on 30 March 2014, land grabber Fazlur Rahman, Anisur Rashid and Estab Ali gang along with Officer-in-charge of Tanore police station Mr. Bazlur Rahman and Magistrate Nasir Khan carried out the eviction operation They also vandalized valuables belonging to indigenous peoples during the eviction operation. However, it is reported that the administration did not issue any notice to drive away the indigenous families.

The victims of the incident are Lobin Murmu, Mangra Murmu, Biren Kisku, Anjinews Tudu, Keletus Tudu, Johan Hasda and Sakoda Karmakar. They informed that they had been living in this area for a long time. But the land grabber gang of Fazlar Rahman, Anisur Rahman, Estar Ali had tried to grab their ancestral lands several times even before this incident.

Lobin Murmu informed that, on 30 March 2014, suddenly a group of Bengali attacked indigenous peoples with the help of the police. When the indigenous peoples tried to stop them, they did not listen to anyone and threatened that if anybody informs others about the attack, they would kill her/him and burn her/his houses.

The indigenous peoples claimed that the court had never issued any notice to them in order for vacating their lands. However, the land grabbers forcefully evicted them in the name of court order. As a result, now they are compelled to live under the open sky with their families.

The victims alleged that the Government can neither sell their lands in the name of ‘enemy property’ nor can it give to anyone for settlement. All it can do is give lease. According to them, they are living in that khas (government owned) land for a long time and paying taxes in exchange in a regular fashion. However, the gang of land grabbers and corrupt officials of local land office plotted to grab their lands.

Following this incident, different indigenous peoples’ organizations and rights groups condemned the attack and eviction process. On 31 March 2014, indigenous peoples staged a blockade at Mundumala Mahali Para area of Tanore upazila. Thousands of people gathered in this demonstration. Moreover, in Rajshahi sadar, Jatiyo Adivasi Parishad organized a mass rally in front of Rajshahi court area and placed a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Rajshahi district.

Anil Marandi, former president and presidium member of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad; Bimal Chandra Rajowar, human rights defender and president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad of Rajsahi district; Susen Kumar Shyamaduyar, General Secretary of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad; Nandalal Tudu, President of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Thana Branch; Rajkumar Sao, Executive Director of ASUS; Bichitra Tirki, President of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, Nawabgonj district; Jakariaers Dumri, Executive Director of Masaus and Abdul Monin Khan, Project Manager of Broti were present in the rally and expressed their concern about the eviction and demanded to ensure justice to the Indigenous peoples and to rehabilitate the victims in their lands.