Dhaka: At least three people were killed
today in ethnic violence between tribal people and Bengali
settlers over decades-long land dispute in Bangladesh`s
southeastern Khagrachhari hill district.
Khagrachhari hill district in the Chittagong Hill
Tracts (CHT) witnessed violence between Bengali-speaking
settlers and ethnic minority groups over land possessions,
leaving three people dead, officials said.
"The violence was sparked apparently over possession
of the land....the situation forced us to order a curfew,
Mohammad Zahir, the assistant police superintendent, told PTI.
He said armed police backed by army troops were sent
to the remote area within hours after the violence that also
injured at least 30 people.
The authorities have imposed a curfew for indefinite
period in three sub-districts of Khagrachari amid fears of
escalation of clashes between the Bengali-speaking settlers
and the Chakmas, who are mainly Buddhist.
Three Bengali-speaking settlers were killed in the
violence at the remote Barapilak area of Ramgargh
According to sources, some 40 houses of the two
communities were set on fire during the clash, the second in a
year over the land possession dispute.
According a media report, a group of Chakma people
attacked the settlers when they were ploughing disputed land
Tribal outfit United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF)
issued a statement in then evening claiming the "rehabilitated
Bengalis" set on fire at least 30 Chakma houses with an
"intension" to drive out the tribesmen from their land.
It also claimed several of the Chakma men were
critically injured during the attack.
"The entire hill region witnesses tension when both
Bengalis and tribesmen start cultivation of land," police
official Zahir said.
Several people were also killed in February last year
in ethnic violence at remote Sajek Valley of Khagrachhari.