Friday, January 25, 2008

Bangladesh: Indigenous Jummmas fleeing homes to escape army crackdown

New Delhi, 25 Jan 2008

The indigenous Jumma[1] peoples in Burighat area of Rangamati district in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh have been fleeing their homes after Captian Qamrul of Burighat army camp served a 72-hours ultimatum for the release of a Bengali settler alleged to have disappeared a few days back. The ultimatum ends today, 25 January 2008.

The Bangladesh army has arrested two Jummas from Gorjontoli village. Jumma villagers from Gorhed, Edmara and Krishnama Chara are also fleeing due to fear of attacks by the army and the illegal Bengali settlers.

In a military style, the army has blocked the Rangamati - Khagrachari road to prevent flow of information outside. The Jummas fear massive military operation against them.

[1]. A collective name given to 11 indigenous communities of Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. The name is derived from their traditional occupation, Jum which is a form of shifting cultivation in the hills

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