Mro people oppressed by forest department officials in Alikadam

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Hill Voice, 10 January 2024, Bandarban: Allegations of extortion, vandalism of houses and shops along with harassment on the Mro indigenous people by forest department officials was reported in Matamuhuri reserve area of Kurukpata union under Alikadam upazila in Bandarban hill district.

According to local sources, on December 5, 2023, the staff of the forest department vandalized Mennik Mro’s shop for no reason, in Kachuchara para of No. 3 Kurukpata union in Allikadam upazila. The officials also broke 5 houses down in Khaithok Mro Para under No. 1 ward of the union on the same day. They also damaged the shop of Rengrui Mro, son of Karjong Mro, in Chotobeti area of No. 7 ward in the same union on that day. BARC, an NGO, built the house for him.

Besides, on December 10, 2023, the staff of the Forest Department demolished Fattoi Mro’s house in Janali para of Mathamuhari Reserve Area in ward No 9 under Kurukpata union No 3. The house was built by an NGO, BRAC, for him.

Moreover, on December 16, 2023, the forest department officials demanded money as extortion from 6-7 Mro families of Kheddhing Para in Noapara union under Alikadam upazila. On that day, on the excuse of building a new house, Rengyong Mro was forced to pay Tk 7,000 to the Forest Department staff.