Allegation of illegal seizure of teak wood and harassment of Jummas by BGB in Baghaichari

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Hill Voice, 8 May 2023, Rangamati: In Churakhali of Sarwatali Union of Baghaichari Upazila under Rangamati District, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has been accused of unjustly seizing teak wood and native cows from local jumma traders and harassing a doctor who was on emergency treatment. However, it is said that although the cows were returned, the wood was not returned.

The victims have expressed deep disappointment and anger terming all these acts of BGB as unjust, deliberate and harassing.

According to local sources, a team of 50-60 BGB personnel from Rajnagar zone and Churakhali BGB camp headed by Assistant Zone Commander of 37 BGB Rajnagar zone Major Mohammad Hafiz Hossain went on a patrol operation to Jumma inhabited Churakhali village yesterday at around 7 pm on 7th May 2023. Meanwhile, BGB Commander Major Mohammad Hafiz Hossain also took Belal Hossain, President of Sramik League of No. 37 Amtali Union with him. Locals alleged that this patrol operation was carried out with the connivance of Major Mohammad Hafiz Hossain and Sramik League President Belal Hossain.

The said patrol team of BGB went to Churakhali village and illegally seized about 300 feet of teak wood legally owned by local jumma wood trader Dipayan Chakma. Dipayan Chakma recently bought the said teak tree from the own teak plantation of Nabaperachara village resident Shantashil Chakma. Also, BGB members seized three domestic cows of Jummas. Niranjan Chakma, a resident of Pablakhali village, and his two friends bought the three cows from Harina in nearby Barkal for business purposes.

It is learnt that the BGB members seized the said wood and cows from Jummas, alleging that they were being ‘illegally smuggled’.

After the matter came to light, the owners of the seized timber and cows went to the Churakhali BGB camp along with No.8 Ward member of Khedarmara Union Shubodev Chakma and met the BGB Commander and stated that the said timber and cows were purchased legally. It is reported that the BGB authorities returned the cows to their owners but did not return the teak wood.

On the other hand, today (8 May 2023) around 4 pm, a group of BGB personnel of the said camp went to Sarwatali area and illegally took 200-300 feet of teak wood from a local jumma named Tikel Chakma.

Harassment of doctor:

Besides, today (May 8, 2023) BGB personnel of Churakhali BGB camp have been accused of detaining a Jumma doctor and harassing him when he came for emergency treatment of a pregnant woman. It is reported that when a pregnant Jumma woman suddenly felt seriously ill in Chibitbagan area of Sarwatali Union, the family members went to fetch a doctor. While bringing the doctor, the BGB members detained the doctor for a long time at the search post at Rangapahar and conducted a search. The name of the doctor is known to be Sugati Chakma.

A local public representative, who did not want to be named, expressed his anger and condemned the behavior of the BGB terming as ‘inconsiderate’ and ‘inhumane’.