Thursday, January 31, 2008

Press Release: Displaced Chakmas urged NBCC to provide compensation

India-Bangladesh Border Fencing Compensation Demand Committee, Marpara
Headquarters: Marpara, PO-Marpara ‘S’, district Lunglei, Mizoram-796431
Press Release

31 January 2008

Displaced Chakmas urged NBCC to provide compensation

Marpara [Mizoram]: Today the Chakmas of Mizoram strongly criticized the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for its failure to keep its promise to release compensation to the families affected by the India-Bangladesh border fencing project in Lunglei district of Mizoram by 31st January 2008. In a meeting attended by the representatives from the India-Bangladesh Border Fencing Compensation Demand Committee, Young Chakma Association, Mahila Samity, Mizoram Chakma Students Union and the Village Council here, the Chakmas adopted a strong resolution against the NBCC and vowed not to allow any further construction of fencing along the India-Bangldesh border in Lunglei district until compensation is provided to all the affected families.

“The NBCC has been duping us. While the Chakmas in other districts have already got some compensation, the NBCC has failed to release the compensation money in the Lunglei district where it is engaged in the fencing. We have given our lands, now we want justice to be done with us.” – stated Nihar Chakma, Secretary of India-Bangladesh Border Fencing Compensation Committee, Marpara.

“The NBCC must not take us lightly. We will resist and protest indefinitely till we get proper compensation. However, the protest will be peaceful and democratic”, Mr Chakma added.

Hundreds of Chakmas including women and children have been protesting against the border fencing project at Marpara since 13 January 2008 over the denial of compensation in Lunglei district. On 18 January 2008, the protests were temporarily suspended up to 31 January 2008 after S K Pandit, Deputy Project Manager of NBCC, Mizoram sector, signed an agreement with the protestors at Marpara agreeing to release compensation by the end of January.

The government of India has been construction fencing along with 318 km-long stretch in Mizoram sector along the India-Bangladesh border which will displace 5,790 Chakma tribal families consisting of 35,438 persons from 49 villages. [Ends]

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