Hill Voice, 25 August 2020, Rangamati: Recently, it has been alleged that the local Awami League (AL) and army authorities have stopped the distribution of rice by UNDP among the poor people during the corona periodin Baghaichhari of Rangamati district and Khagrachhari districts.
It is learnt that the Awami League and the army authorities stopped the UNDP’s rice distribution activities by complaining that 60% of the beneficiaries of rice distribution were the indigenous Jummas and by labeling it as communal.
According to local sources, on 21 August 2020 Friday, a UNDP delegation led by Dhiman Tripura went to Baghaichhari Upazila to distribute rice among the poor.There was schedule of distributing rice among the concerned people with consultation the administration. But Humayun Kabir, commander of 12 Bir Baghaihat army zone, Lt. Col. Al Hakim Md. Nowshad, Commander of Baghaihat 54 BGB Zone and Lt. Col. Md. Anwar Bhuiyan, commander of Marishya 26 zone in Baghaichhari stopped the UNDP’s rice distribution program alleging communalism.
It is learnt that the local Awami League leaders demanded the local army and BGB authorities to stop the UNDP’s rice distribution activities alleging that though 40% of the rice is supposed tobe given to the Bengalis, but 60% of the rice is supposed to be given to Jumma people in the hilly areas.
There are allegations that a few days ago, Kujendra Lal Tripura, MP of Khagrachhari constituency, stopped UNDP’s rice distribution activities in Khagrachhari based on the complaint of the General Secretary of Mahalchhari upazila Awami League.
It is learnt that the UNDP authorities collected information from the village Headmen (Mouza head), Karbaris (village head) and after consultationwith them, it was decided to distribute the rice.
Meanwhile, speaking to locals, they said they were deeply disappointed and shocked by the local Awami League and the army and the BGB’s stoppage of UNDP’s rice distribution activities.
The local people guess, a group of extreme communal and vested interests, being influenced by communalism and envy, has stopped the distribution of rice in the hilly areas by the UNDP.
It is to be noted that Jumma people living in remote hilly areas have always been deprived of government and non-government facilities.Their life and livelihood are relatively difficult due to living in remote areas. Especially in the lock-down of COVID-19 epidemic, their life has become more miserable.