Hill Voice, 5 March 2023, Rangamati: It is alleged that Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is purchasing dried turmeric from Jumma villagers forcefully at a mere price in Harina area of Bhushanchara Union of Barkal Upazila under Rangamati District.
Even threats are being made by the BGB members that the Jumma turmeric sellers will not be allowed to sell turmeric in the market unless they agree to sell turmeric in the BGB camps at a lower price fixed by the BGB.
Locals said, this time in the hill is the season of selling turmeric. After a lot of hard work, they harvest the turmeric, boil it and dry it in the sun. After that, they sell the turmeric to meet the needs of the family. But now the BGB members of different camps are forcing to sell that turmeric to them at a mere price. Which is very injustice to them.
They also said that currently the market price of per maund (40 seers) dry turmeric is Tk 4,000 to Tk 4,500. But BGB personnel are buying at 3000-3500 Taka each maund and that turmeric are to deliver to the camp free of labor charge. The victims said that the BGB members forcefully buy the turmeric at their desired price, even though the Jumma villagers do not want to sell to them.
According to the sources of the victims, on March 2, 2023, a group of BGB members under the leadership of Md. Ferdous (50), Zone Commander of 12 BGB Chota Harina Zone of Bhushanchara, Barkal and BIP of Bhushanchara BGB Camp, Md. Jahangir, called the Jumma turmeric farmers and traders of Bhushanchara area. At that time, the BGB commander ordered the Jumma turmeric farmers and traders to deliver 15 maunds of dried turmeric to their camp and also mentioned that there will be difficulties if turmeric is not provided.
On the other hand, on the same day, BIP Md. Zia (38), in charge of Bara Harina BGB camp, went on a patrolling operation in Balukyachari area and collected 15 maunds of dry turmeric from Jumma villagers and brought the turmeric to camp with them. After that, when the BGB members paid 3500 Taka per maund, the Jumma turmeric farmers did not want to take it, the BGB members forced them to take that money.
Meanwhile, BGB members said that this is the CO’s order. The BGB personnel threatened that if the dried turmeric is not given, the turmeric will be kept in the Bara Harina BGB camp.
On the other hand, the BGB authority of Guichari camp under 12 BGB Chota Harina zone have also ordered the concerned residents to bring turmeric to the camp. The BGB personnel of Guichari camp also threatened that they will not allow anyone to sell turmeric in the Harina bazaar if turmeric is not given in the camp.
Also, on February 28, 2023, there was an allegation that BGB’s Chota Harina zone had purchased turmeric forcefully at a low price from the Jumma villagers of Tagalakchara, Balukyechari, Hugichara area etc.