Kapaeeng Foundation Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Report: October 2020

In October 2020, there were 11 incidents of violence against indigenous women and girls including killing after rape, rape, attempt to rape, abduction, sexual harassment, abduction, filling false cases. In these incidents, 12 indigenous women, adolescents and mentally disordered have been victims of violence. Among them, 6 women and girl have been raped including 1 woman has been killed, 1 attempted to rape, 2 abducted and a family have been forced to leave their home. The most shocking and brutal of these incidents was the killing of an indigenous Jumma woman after gang rape in Dinajpur District. 

In October 2020, there were 4 incidents of land grabbing and eviction of indigenous people, attacks and tortures on indigenous people over land disputes etc. across the country. At least 4 indigenous persons have been injured in the attack related to land grabbing and harassment by land grabbers. At least 800.75 acres of land of indigenous people in different places have been targeted to occupy by land grabbers. Land grabbers forcibly took possession of the Khasia family’s Pan Jum land in Kulaura of Sylhet. Hundreds of years of preserved neighborhood forests, crematoriums, fruit orchards, including the traditional lands of the Mro indigenous community have been illegally occupied in Bandarban. The most heinous incident related to land grabbing and evictions in October is holding captive of an indigenous woman named Basanti Rani Sardar and her family by Abdus Samad’s goons in Natore.

On the other hand, an indigenous 10th grade student was allegedly beaten up and harassed and house of Kiran Tanchangya’s was illegally searched and vandalized without any warrant by the BGB members in Naikhyongchhari of Bandarban district. Besides, an attack was carried out on indigenous Jumma football players in Matiranga by local Awami League leader and around 40/50 indigenous peoples of CHT were attacked by Md. Avi, younger brother of Ferdousi Begum Munni, ex-woman councilor of Oxygen area in Chittagong.

Civil & Political Rights

Attack on the indigenous Jumma Football Players in Matiranga

On 3 October 2020 a football tournament was organized by the local Awami League Leader and Union Parishad Chairman Ali Akbar at Dakbangla Muktiyuddha High School in Barnal Union under Matiranga Upazila of Khagrachhari. The Jumma students and youths also participated along with the Bengali teams in this tournament. However, during the opening game of the tournament the match was held between the Jumma students-youth team named Thailapara XI vs. the Bengali team named Dakbangla XI. Interestingly, the indigenous Jumma students-youth team won the game which their opponent the Bengali team could not accept their defeat. After that the Bengali team started using their power to harass and insult the Jumma students-youth team members. At this, when the Jumma students-youth team protested against this, the Awami League and Chhatra League leaders and activists led by Chairman Ali Akbar allegedly attacked on them with their fist and local made weapon.

Three indigenous Jumma players left seriously injured in this attacked. The injured persons are namely-1. Upen Marma, son of Babu master, 2. Rimrachai Marma, son of Nithai Marma and 3. Mangshiu Marma and many more also reported injured. Upen Marma is currently undergoing treatment at Matiranga Upazila Hospital. No case has been lodged till the report.

House Searching and Beating of a Jumma Student in Naikhyongchhari 

Local BGB members of Baishphari area allegedly beat up an indigenous 10th grade student named Rishanta Tanchangya Durjoy (18) in Naikhyongchhari of Bandarban on 7 October 2020. Sources said that, on the incident day at around 7pm the victim was returning to his home from a shop in the village. However, the BGB members stopped him in the middle of the way and started beating him without any reasons. Later, when Rishanta Tanchangya started shouting the villagers came forward and rescued him. At this, when the villagers asked explanation for beating the victim, the BGB members called the commander of BGB’s 34th Battalion in Cox’s Bazar. Afterwards, the BGB Battalion commander held a meeting with the village elders and assured of not repeating the same thing in future after coming to the spot. 

Most importantly, the BGB camp in the Baishphari area is located in the middle of the village and set up by forcefully grabbing the land of the Tanchangya people.

On the other hand, a group of BGB members numbering 10-12 suddenly raided Kiran Tanchangya’s house and vandalized all the belongings and documents of the house without any warrant. However, there was no one at that time and currently the family is in fears due to the incident.

Attack on indigenous Peoples, 2 injured in Chittagong

On 30 October 2020 at 4pm a sudden attack was carried out on the hill indigenous peoples by Md. Avi, younger brother of ex-woman councilor of Oxygen area named Ferdousi Begum Munni at Bayejid area of Chittagong. It is been learnt that on 29 October 2020 a group of miscreants led by Md. Avi looted Tk. 9,000 and golden chain of an indigenous housewife forcefully. Later, they also demanded Tk. 20,000 from the indigenous family. The same kind of incident was carried out on 17 October 2020 also. Indigenous peoples alleged that the perpetrators often used to harass the indigenous Jumma women.

As a result, a group of 50/60 indigenous peoples went to Ferdousi Begum Munni to settle these issues on the incident day. However, she was not home at that time. Afterwards, she advised the indigenous peoples to lodge a case with the police station after founding out that her brother was involved in these incidents after talking with the indigenous peoples through phone. At this, the indigenous peoples wanted to sort out the issue through discussion. Later, she asked the indigenous peoples to meet with her on 31 October 2020.

In the meantime, Md. Avi with a group of goons arrived at the incident spot and started threatening the indigenous peoples. Later, the perpetrators suddenly started attacking the indigenous peoples by throwing bricks from their roof. As a result, some indigenous peoples fled wherever they could but around 20/30 indigenous women, men and children were being captive and 2 were seriously injured.

After sometime, when the police came, the perpetrators flew away. Legal action will be taken if anyone lodged complain, the police assured the indigenous peoples. After being freed, the indigenous peoples went to their home. However, an attack is being conducted on the indigenous peoples living in Oxygen area led by Md. Avi till the report. The indigenous peoples are in fear and panic due to the attack.  


Khasia family’s pan jum land occupied by local influential expatriate

On 27 September 2020, Rafiq Mia forcibly took possession of the Khasia family’s Pan Jum land in the dark of night which has been cultivated by Khasi people for ages. Besides, they came away threatening the land owner Jaspar Amalrang. Later on, Jasper lodged a complaint with Kulaura police station on same day.  

Jasper Amalrang said that, “the only source of income for my family is betel cultivation and with these earnings I continued my cancer treatment. Yet all of a sudden everything has gone dark”.

Due to legal impediments at that time, this land was not recorded along with the names of my predecessors but was recorded along with the name of the Deputy Commissioner on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh. The then Punjee Mantri Gourdhan Khasia filed a case against the record in the Sylhet District Sub-Judge 2nd Court No. 211/1975. Later, on 2 June 1982, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the case Gauradhan Khasia, and a decree was issued on 9 June 1982.

The government then appealed to the Moulvibazar Judge’s Court against the verdict and decree. Later, Moulvibazar District Judge Abdur Rashid rejected the appeal No. 55/92 filed by the government on 21 November 2012.

Attempts to build machine houses for the purpose of occupying the land of the Santals

On 6 October 2020, at around 9:30 am, about 50 unidentified mercenary terrorists led by Md. Mahabur Rahman, Md. Moksedul, Md. Entazul, father of all – late Abdul Jabbar, Md. Zillur Rahman, son of Md. Entazul from Barachand of Sardarpara under Parbatipur upazila in Dinajpur district came with the aim of forcibly occupying the land of Niren Mardi. The Santals have lodged a written complaint with the Parbatipur police station.

At that time, when the indigenous people tried to oppose him, Md. Mahabur Rahman hit Shiuli Murmu, w/o Marshall Mardi with a knife. The finger of her right hand has been wounded.

The victim Niren Mardi said that they have been cultivating 0.60 acres of land in Khatian 699 of JL No. 44 of Bara Chandipur Mouza of the upazila for 0.60 acres in 2059 marks and 0.15 acres in 2062 marks of Khatian 876 since the time of grandparents. But for some time now, Md. Mahabur Rahman has been trying to occupy it by claiming that he has taken a lease. After searching the land office, they came to know that Mahabur Rahman is not the owner of the land.

Clash over land dispute in Lama

On 7 October 2020 at around 11:00 am clashes between the Bengali and Jumma took place over a land dispute in Aunghlari Karbari Para area near Yangcha Bazar of Faisyakhali Union under Lama upazila in Bandarban District. Two indigenous Jummas people and one Bengali person left injured in this attack. The injured are- Chhamu Marma (60), son of Aunghlari Marma, Aungmashing Marma (30), wife of Mongchai Marma and Md. Shamsuddhoha (25), son of late Maulvi Yunus. Sources said that, Shamsuddhoha had been trying to occupy the land of Chammu Marma from many days. However, on the incident day both groups were engaged in the altercation and the clash occurred. Later, the victims admitted in the Lama Upazila Health Complex. Where Chammu Marma situation was very serious and afterwards the perpetrator Shamsuddoha got transferred to Chittagong Medical College.

Hundreds of years of preserved neighborhood forests, crematoriums, fruit orchards, including the traditional lands of the Mro indigenous community, have been illegally occupied in Bandarban

Indigenous Mro people in Kapru Para, Dola Para, and Era Para will be evicted while villagers in Markin Para, Long Baitong Para, Mensing Para, Riamanai Para and Menring Para of Chimbuk hill of Bandarban sadar upazila are under threat of eviction if the five-star hotel is constructed by the Military and Sikder group (R&R holdings). It is learnt that the area extends from Kapru Mro Para, located at 47th km on Bandarban-Chimbuk-Thanchi road, to Jibannagar, 52th km which is about 800 Acres. The villagers alleged that officials of a welfare organisation and a giant business entity (Sikder group) jointly have encroached on their traditional Jum land, village forest, cremation grounds and different fruit orchards during the pandemic to construct the hotel. In addition to land grabbing, Karbari (village chiefs) and neighborhood residents are being threatened in various ways for not talking about the occupied land. On 7 October 2020, the local Mro community people submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister. The memorandum was signed by 131 people, including the head of a Mouza and a ward member of Mro community.

An indigenous family persecuted by land grabbers in Natore

On 11 October 2020, it is known that Basanti Rani Sardar and her family is being held captive by Abdus Samad’s goons. Abdus Samad is a land grabber from Duaria Union in Lalpur of Natore district. It is known that all the recorded assets of the father of the indigenous Basanti Rani Sardar have been forcibly seized by the land grabber Samad’s goons.

Basanti Rani said that ‘One day Samad’s goons suddenly came and forced us to leave and broke down our house. About this I immediately called the police and the police came but did not take any further step towards the incident. Later I went to the police station and lodged a complaint accusing 8 people including the land grabber Samad and his gang.

Lalpur Police Station Officer-in-Charge OC Selim Reza said there is a complaint in this regard and legal action will be taken subject to investigation.


Indigenous student killed after rape in Rangpur

A dead body of an indigenous Mushohar girl named Rukhia Raut was found on 6 October 2020 at Shalbagan on the regional highway in Pachpukuria of Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur district.

According to Local sources, an indigenous girl named Rukhia Raut was stranded to death after allegedly gang raped in Parbotipur upazila under Dinajpur district. She was an honors final year student at Carmichael College in Rangpur and a resident of Adivasi Polli Mission Para in Badarganj. The prime accused are Anisur Rahman (24), Atiquzzaman (25), and Raj (25) were arrested on 7 October 2020 for the murder and rape and confessional statement was taken under section 164 from them in Dinajpur Court. 

It is learnt that police recovered the body anonymously in the early morning of 6 October 2020 at Shalbagan on the regional highway in Pachpukuria, Parbotipur upazila of Dinajpur. Harirampur union village police Abraham Minzi filed a murder case with Parbotipur Model Police Station against those three perpetrators.

According to the local sources and the victim’s family, the victim left for Rangpur on 5 October. She was supposed to come back the next day, however her phone was found switched off after that and did not come back. On 6 October the body of the victim was found inside a pine forest in Pachpukuria of Horirampur union. The body of the victim was tied with the veil of the Salwar Kamij of the victim. The body was left in an auto rickshaw. After the incident a search operation was conducted by Shohel Rana, additional police officer of Parbotipur Police Station. 

The father of the victim told the media that Anisur Rahman, son of Abdul Gafur used to harass Rukhia every time she used to come home from hostel. Before leaving the house, the victim wrote in her diary that she tried to suicide before and Anisur Rahman called her away from home to kill her. The officer in charge of Parbotipur Police Station said the accused consented to their involvement with the rape and murder.

Union Parishad member arrested alleging rape of a Tripura Woman in Fatikchhari

On 18 August 2020, a Union Parishad member of Narayanhat Union, Abul Monsur, allegedly physically assaulted and attempted to rape an indigenous Tripura woman in Fatikchhari of Chittagong district. The victim is a resident of Harinmara village in West Chandpur under Narayanhat Union. 

On 7 October, the victim lodged a complaint with Bhujpur Police Station against Abul Monsur, member of Ward No. 7 of Narayanhat Union Parishad. The accused was arrested the next morning, 8 October 2020. 

An indigenous school girl attempted to rape in Rajshahi

On 10 October 2020 at around 3:30pm, an indigenous ninth-grade schoolgirl (14) has been attempted to rape in Boliadang village in Gogram Union under Godagari Upazila of Rajshahi.  The victim is from Bargitala village of Godagari Upazila. 

The victim along with her parents went to Godagari Police Station around 9:30 pm on the same day to lodge a complaint against Al Amin (28), son of Alam Hossain of Boliadang village of Gogram Union. 

According to the complaint, the 14-year-old indigenous schoolgirl was going her teacher’s house at Boliadang village on Saturday afternoon for tuition. Al Amin tried to rape her when he found her alone on her way near a crop field. Upon hearing the screams of the victim, people came to rescue her and the perpetrator fled the scene. The accused, Al Amin, was arrested and sent to jail. 

A mentally disordered indigenous woman allegedly raped in Kaptai

On 9 October 2020, at night, an indigenous woman who is mentally disordered was raped in the dark under the market shed of north to Karigar Para Bazar under Raikhali Union of Kaptai in Rangamati.  A case was filed with Chandraghona Police Station, against the accused under the Prevention of Women & Children Repression Prevention Act 2000. On 10 October, at 5:30pm, the police arrested Abu Taleb Saddam (27), son of Abdus Salam, from Raikhali Dongnala in connection to the incident. 

Indigenous schoolgirl abducted in Khagrachhari, found in Dhaka after 13 days

On 20 September 2020, at around 3pm, an indigenous girl studying in 8th grade was abducted from Nunchhari of Khagrachhari district. The victim is the daughter of Raprue Marma of Nunchhari, Khagrachhari Sadar Upazila. 

It is to be noted that, Raprue Marma owns a mango orchard and Yasin Mollah being a fruit trader, often goes to the house of Raprue Marma for business purposes. Yasin Mollah then lured Raprue Marma’s daughter into a relationship with bad intention. The abductor, Yasin Mollah, a fruit trader by profession, is married and had been living with his wife and two children in Nayanpur area of Khagrachhari. 

After the victim went missing, the victim’s mother, Chengua Marma, lodged a complaint with Khagrachhari Police Station against Yasin Mollah, son of Main Uddin Mollah of Shimultola of Kishoreganj district. On 3 October, the accused was arrested and the victim was rescued from Nawabganj in Dhaka with the assistance of Nawabganj Police Station. 

Garo indigenous student harassed in Public Bus for not using scarf at Savar

Allegation of sexual harassment of a Garo girl student was found in Savar of Dhaka district for riding public bus without a scarf. She is a second year student of drama and dramatics department of Jahangirnagar University.

The victim said two people obstructed her when she tried to ride on bus to go to the University because of not using a scarf. The situation got worse when she tried to protest against it and in some point they blamed the dress as the main cause of rape and forced her to get off the bus.

An Indigenous family of Mahadevpur forced to leave their locality

An indigenous family of Mahadevpur of Naogaupa district is forced to leave their locality due to threats of life for filing an attempt to rape case against two influential businessmen under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. They have been threatening the family after coming out from jail on bail. It was learnt that the three members of that family from South Lokkhipur village of Safapur union of Mohadevpur upazila have fled to Naogaon in fear of life. According to the sources, the victim is a widow and stays in a house alone and her sons stay in Dhaka. Azadul Islam alias Jardesh (35), son of late Moslem of Parbotipur village on the west side of the road of her house, used to harass her in various ways and give bad proposals. Even after forbidding him couple of times, on 3 June 2020 he entered the house of the widow secretly when she went out to go to washroom and tried to rape her. The locals came forward to rescue her when she shouted and caught Azadul. After knowing this the accused brother came with his man and took the accused away forcefully.

After the incident on 30 July 2020 the victim filed a case against the two brothers under Naoga police station. The accused were arrested on 16 August 2020 and taken to court the following day. The perpetrators came out on bail on 30 August 2020 and have been threatening the victim’s family continuously since then. Meanwhile the victim’s son Nipen complained that Azadul Islam used to make bad offers to his mother at different times. Besides, five years ago they have taken a loan of Tk. 20,000 from Ekramul Haq on interest by writing on a white stamp. They have returned the amount with interest after 5 years of Tk. 70,000, but Ekramul denies to return that written white stamp. The accused have been threatening them after coming jail from jail and they have fled the house in fear of life.

On the other hand the accused Ekramul Haq said the indigenous family is harassing us by giving false charges so they do not have to pay the borrowed amount. He also claimed the threatening to the family was a lie. Nazrul Islam Jewel, officer in charge of Mahadevpur police station said proper steps will be taken if complaint is filed.

Two Bengali youth held for attempt to rape charges of a Marma girl in Rangamati

Chandraghona police arrested two Bengali settler youths on charges of attempt to rape of a Marma college girl at Bangalhalia in Kaptai upazila under Rangamati District. According to the police the incident took place in Bangalhalia around 12 pm on Tuesday, 20 October 2020. 

The police have arrested the two perpetrators named Md. Saokat and Md. Shahin with the help of the CNG Owners’ Samiti and local community representative after getting a complaint from the victim around 10 pm on that day. Both of the accused were CNG auto-rickshaw drivers by profession. It was also found that the victim was going to Raikhali Fheri Ghat from Bangalhalia taxi stand.  On the way when the CNG auto-rickshaw reached at the place between Bandarban and Raikhali road, Md. Shahin tried to rape her with the assistance of the driver Md. Saokat. At one stage the victim jumped off the auto-rickshaw to safe herself and was severely injured. At that time one public transport was behind the auto-rickshaw which came forward to rescue her and the perpetrators fled. 

Later on, upon reaching to the Bangalhalia market the Police Camp in charge was informed and a case was filed and the two offenders were arrested around 10 pm by Chandraghona Police.  The officer in charge Ekbal Bahar Chowdhury said the two accused have been arrested and sent to Rangamati court on 21 October 2020. A case was filed under the section 9(4)Kha/30 of Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.

Indigenous girl raped in Feni 

The police have arrested two perpetrators for charges of rape of an indigenous girl twice. The two accused are Rickshaw driver Md. Riyaj and Choton Chandra Shil, employee of a Saloon shop.

According to the police the victim is a resident of Khagrachari. The victim was going to her friend’s place on 18 October 2020 and reached in Feni around 1:30 on that night. Her friend works in Abul Khair Factory in Feni Choripur basic area. The victim said to the police that she rode on Md. Riyaj’s rickshaw to go to her friend’s house in Feni Choripur Basic Area but the rickshaw driver took her in a house in Moktar Bari area, Ward No. 12 of Feni Municipality and raped her at around 2:30 am. 

When the girl started to cry the rickshaw driver Riyaj took her out in the middle of the night to take her to the Basic area. When they reached to Amtoli road of Feni Sadar, Saloon employee Choton got her off the rickshaw and raped her again after taking her in a nearby house. On 19 October 2020 she filed a case with Feni Police Station and the police arrested Riyaj from Dewanganj and Choton from a colony of Amtoli area. 

The officer in charge of Feni police station investigation, Omor Haidar told that the medical test has been done on the girl.

Two indigenous women raped in Nababganj and Dinajpur in two separate incidents

Two indigenous women were allegedly raped in a day in two separate incidents in Nawbabganj and Dinajpur. The incident took place on 28 October 2020. The police have arrested the accused of two separate incidents.

According to the locals and police, a physically challenged indigenous girl was raped by her neighbor Kamalesh Hembrom (30) at Torpanghat Golabari village of the Upazila. The father of the victim filed a case with Nawbabganj Police Station and the accused was arrested by the police. The accused is the son the Lal Hembrom of the same locality. 

On the other hand, an indigenous housewife was raped in Charlipara village by Gonesh Hembrom who is a visitor of that village and is a resident of Changua village of Gobindaganj Upazila in Gaibandha district. Anil Mardi (25), son of Khuduk Mardi of the same area who came to visit with him, assisted him in the crime. When the victim shouted, the locals came forward and caught the perpetrators and handed over them to the police. Later on, the victim filed a case with Nawbabganj police station. Shamsul Alam, the inspector (investigation) of Nababganj police station said that the arrested from the two separate incidents have been sent to court.

Indigenous girl rescued after 18 day of abduction

Indigenous girl rescued after 18 days of abduction from Tongi on 28 October 2020 from a deep forest of Sokhipur of Tangail district. The name of the girl is Brishti Rani (14), daughter of Manbindu Chandra Sorkar. According to the complaint it was found that on 10 October 2020 she went out with her family to go to market and an unknown man named Alamgir abducted her from the huge the crowd of the market. Later on, with the help of information technology the location, the kidnappers were located and the police rescued the girl after conducting a search operation but they failed to arrest the kidnapper.