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3074 people sued

Friday, 30 January 2015
A Santal woman filed a case on Wednesday night against several hundred people implicating them in attacks on members of the tribal community in retaliation to the death of a Bengali youth in clash on Saturday over a land dispute in Parbatipur. Nilima Hembram, daughter of Joseph Hembrom of Habibpur Chirakutipara village, filed the case with Parbatipur police on Wednesday night accusing 74 identified and 3000 unidentified people. Meanwhile, several hundred ethnic people of Phulbari, Birampur, Nawabganj, Hakimpur, Ghoraghat and Parbatipur upazilas besieged the upazila nirbahi officer’s office in Phulbari at 1.00pm yesterday.
A human chain also formed inside the complex. Later, a memorandum with four-point demands was submitted to the minister of home through Phulbari UNO Moniruzzaman.

The demands include cancellation of fake land documents of one Jahrul Islam and hand over the land documents unconditionally to respective ethnic land owners, arrest of Jahrul Islam and his exemplary punishment for inciting people to indulge in arson, looting and destroying houses of the ethic minority, proper compensation for the affected people and ensure security for them and establishment of separate ministry and land commission for ethnic minority.
The ethnic people alleged that the incident of attack could have been averted if local administration had sincerely wanted. “I called many officials when I heard about the impending attacks, but all skipped it saying they were busy”, said Albert Soren, president of Bangladisham Santal Baisi of Naogaon. Officer-in-Charge of Parbatipur police Mahbubur Alam said police are yet to arrest any person in connection with the incident despite several raids.  “A woman of the affected village has filed the case as the male members fearing arrest have been staying away from home”, said Chunnu Tudu, president of Phulbari Upazila Adibasi Unnyan Samity. On the other hand, Entalus Tudu, who was arrested along with 18 Santal men following clash between Bangalis and Santals, got bail yesterday from Dinajpur court to sit for SSC examination under Dinajpur Education Board commencing from February 2. Co-ordinator of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust Sirajum Munira have helped to secure his bail.
Besides, the Santal homes damaged in attacks have not been repaired leaving 55 Santal families of Habibpur Chirakutipara village in dire strait. “How can we repair houses; it’s the job of men”, said Monika Hasda.

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