37 houses set on fire and looted by Bengali settlers in Mahalchari, 2 Jummas injured

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Hill Voice, 5 July 2022, Khagrachhari: It has been alleged that 37 houses of Indigenous Jumma villagers were set on fire, looted and vandalized in an attack by Muslim Bengali settlers in Joysen Para area of Maischari union in Mahalchari upazila of Khagrachari hill district. At least two Jummas were reportedly injured while trying to resist the attackers.

According to the victims, the Bengali settlers carried out the attack on the Jumma villagers without any provocation to take possession of the land of the Jumma people.

According to local sources, this morning (July 5, 2022) a group of about 200 Muslim Bengali settlers in the Joysen Para area of Maischari Union in Mahalchari attacked the houses of the Jumma villagers adjoining areas with sharp weapons and sticks. At least 37 houses were set on fire, looted and vandalized. The assailants looted various utensils including cocking pots, pans and clothes of Jummas’ house before setting them on fire.

When the Jumma villagers tried to resist the attackers, there were chases and counter-chases between the Jumma villagers and the settlers for several hours till about the noon.  It is known that initially two Jummas were injured in the attack. At one point the attackers left the scene at noon.

According to eyewitness accounts, Md. Aziz Member, Md. Joydar, Md. Shahidul, Md. Jahangir, Md. Yunus, Md. Liton, Md. Jahedul led the settlers in the attack.

Several villagers who did not want to be named complained that police and army personnel were present at the scene but did not take any action against the attacking settlers to refrain them.

According to the local Jumma villagers, the Bengali settlers have been trying for a long time to grab the land of Jumma people. There are jum farming lands and plantation of Jumma villagers in the area.

It is learnt that Mahalchari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and local public representatives have visited the spot till writing this report. However, the details of the incident are not yet known.