Hill Voice, 26 October 2022, Bandarban: It has been alleged that the mango trees and village forests of the indigenous Mro villagers have been cut down by the men hired by Lama Rubber Industries Limited in Sarai Union of Lama Upazila under Bandarban District.
Till today (October 26), around 50 mango trees and 20 acres of village forest of the villagers of Rengyen Mro Karbari Para were reportedly cut down.
The villagers informed that the mercenaries of the rubber company started cutting down the forests of Mro villagers from last 23 October 2022. Also today at around 10:00 AM about 60 hired men of the rubber company started cutting the villagers’ forest and felled a total of 20 mango trees.
It is mentionable that in the wake of dispute between the rubber company and the villagers, both sides were barred from entry under Section 144/45 at the place by the police from September 27.
But despite this, on October 2, the people of the rubber company cut the forest in that place. Before this, on September 24, people from the rubber company cut down about 300 banana trees of Rengyong Mro, a resident of Rengyen Mro Karbari para (village). On September 6, the hired men of the rubber company tried to kill the villagers by pouring poison into the water source of Rengyen Mro Karbari villagers. On August 10, hired people of the rubber company attacked, looted and vandalized the newly built Ashoka Buddhist Vihara in Rengyen Mro Karbari para.
It may also be noted that the authorities of Lama Rubber Industries Limited have been trying to expropriate the remaining 400 acres of jum plantations and lands belonging to the indigenous people of Langkom Mro Karbari Para, Jayachandra Tripura Karbari Para and Rengyen Mro Karbari Para in Sarai Union of Lama by the hired land grabbers.
In this situation, 200 men and women of 39 families of these three indigenous Mro and Tripura villagers are now in fear of eviction.
The villagers said that, they have been making a living by farming and gardening in their village’s 400 acres of land for generations. But it is like bolt from the blue for those Jummas that a company named Lama Rubber Industries started trying to take possession of the lands in the name of rubber plot in 2019.
Earlier, Lama Rubber Industries Limited occupied 1,600 acres of land under lease in Natun para, Dekichara Para and Noa Para in Sarai Union’s Doluchari Mouja. Due to this land grabbing, hundreds of Mro villagers in three villages are under threat of eviction.