Lama Rubber Industries plotting to divide Bhumi Raksha movement

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Hill Voice, 8 March 2023, Special Correspondent: Lama Sarai Bhumi Raksha Sangam Committee (LBRSC) said that the Lama Rubber Industries Limited is conspiring to create division in the ongoing movement of protecting 400 acres of land of Mro and Tripura people in Lama of Bandarban.

In a statement last Saturday (March 4), Lama Sarai Bhumi Raksha Sangam Committee convener Rangdhajan Tripura alleged that Lama Rubber Industries, which is desperate for occupying said land, is running a nefarious conspiracy to create division in the movement of protecting 400 acres of land.

He said that he told Lama Rubber Industries to immediately stop this conspiracy and to abandon the conspiracy to expropriate the traditional Jum land and village forest that have been cultivated by the indigenous villagers of Rengyen Para, Langkam Para and Jayachandra Para for generations.

It is to be noted that on March 4, 2023 at 11:00 am, nine Tripura villagers of Jayachandra Para of Sarai Union in Lama held a press conference at the Bandarban Press Club auditorium and demanded that five acres of land be handed over to each family of them. They claimed at the press conference that it was decided in a meeting by Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Minister and administration to give 5 acres of land to each family out of the disputed lands between the Lama Rubber Industry Company and the villagers.

Nine villagers including Karbari (village head) Fadram Tripura of Jayachandra Para, Boisuram Tripura, Jayachandra Tripura and Honorang Tripura were present in the press conference. Bishay Chandra Tripura presented the written statement.

Meanwhile, Lama Sarai Bhumi Raksha Sangam Committee leader and Karbari Langkam Mro of Langkam Para alleged that Lama Rubber Company sponsored some Tripura villagers to organized a press conference taking them to Bandarban with an aim to destroy the unity of their ongoing movement for land protection. The owners of 400 acres of Jum-farming land in that area are three villages of Mro and Tripura people. They own the land themselves traditionally. So there is nothing to take land from anyone, he said.

On the other hand, it was propagated by the Lama Rubber Company that a staff house of Lama Rubber Company was vandalized and looted in the remote hilly area of Lama Sarai Union in the early hours of February 27 and two staff members of the company were beaten up and injured, which was also published in the national daily Samakal on February 27.

Rangdhajan Tripura, who was accused in this incident, said that they do not know anything about the vandalism of the staff house of the rubber company. He mentioned that it is an event arranged by the rubber company with an aim to make plot against the indigenous villagers who are running movement for protection of their ancestral land.

A villager who is vocal in protecting the land said that many journalists of Bandarban spread such false news in exchange of money with the help of Lama Rubber Company.