Attack on Mro village for lack of effective administrative action: NHRC

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Hill Voice, 5 January 2023, Dhaka: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) expressed anger and concern over the recent arson and vandalism of the homes of the Mro people in Lama Upazila of Bandarban. The commission said that the attack on Mro village was due to lack of effective administrative measures. A high-powered delegation of the Commission has been sent to investigate the incident.

The Commission informed this information in a press release on Wednesday (January 4). Quoting the news published in the media, the statement of the commission said that the Lama Rubber Industry Limited Company brought their truck-loads of baton forces to evict them and carry out attacks and looting.

On April 26, the NHRC took immediate action on the burning of 350 acres of Jum farming natural forest in the area of the Mro people, the destruction of water springs and the consequent hardship of the people of three villages due to lack of food and clean water.

In view of these incidents, the NHRC gave five-point instructions. This included supporting these families, not harassing them. Apart from this, the Deputy Commissioner of Bandarban was instructed to investigate and submit a report. Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong has been given the responsibility to coordinate the overall supervision and take necessary measures.

According to the notification of the NHRC, more information is needed in the report given by the Deputy Commissioner of Bandarban. Therefore, by January 31, the Commission has again asked the District Commissioner of Bandarban to provide the necessary information.

Due to lack of effective administrative and legal measures against the allegation, these incidents are happening continuously and the human rights of the Moro community are being grossly violated. In order to prevent such heinous incidents and to establish justice, the Commission has stated that there is no alternative but to take legal action against the persons involved by speedily conducting an impartial investigation.

The Commission has sent a high-powered delegation headed by the CHT Member of the Commission, Kongjori Chowdhury, to inspect the spot. There are four members including Director of the Commission (complaint and investigation) and district and session judge Ashraful Alam.

The Commission has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs and the Public Security Department of the Home Ministry to ensure that the local community is not harassed in any way and to take appropriate legal action against the people involved in the arson incident. Apart from this, a letter has also been sent to the Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief to provide all the affected families with adequate food and water and necessary assistance including construction of houses.