"Are we not citizens of this country? Why has our area all thorough been kept outside development coverage?" Jacob Tripura, immediate past UP member of No. 9 ward of Farua Union of Belaichari Upazila and community leader put this question before Mr. Rupayan Dewan, Member of CHT Regional Council yesterday at 11.00 am at his residence at Rangamati. Jacob expressed his frustration and sheer unhappiness for not getting any support from the State Minister, Ministry of CHT Affairs in the last three years despite they voted for him. Jacob remembers that before the elections Mr. Talukdar assured him to undertake development once he could return the elections and his party forms the government.
Jacob's grand-father, father and relatives were originally inhabitants of Rajasthali area (Present Kisto Para, north of Rajasthali Upazila Sadar) who entered Reingkhyong reserve out of fear of victimisation in different ways by those who were settling in their area after their eviction due to the construction of Kaptai dam. Bikram Manik Tripura became the leader of these people to save them from forest department and police. He fought for his people for establishing rights in reserve areas by claiming de-reserving the area for their habitations. He was arrested, tortured and put behind Rangamati jail during
period. Once MN Larma, member of Constituent Assembly went to see him in jail
and immediately after his visit it brought relief to Bikram Moni's physical labour
and also it brought honour for him from the jail authority. Pakistan
The Jumma people of this vast area have all thorough been denied basic government services and only the signing of the CHT Accord has given them some opportunity to be acquainted with some developments. UNDP-CHTDF has covered them under its CEP with micro grants of Tk 400,000 for each community. The area desperately needs special care in the areas of education, health, sanitation, pure drinking water and communication. Mr. Dewan assured to linkage them with the CHT Affairs State Minister, Mr. Dipankar Talukdar. And, accordingly, they visited Nr. Talukdar today at 9.30 am. Mr. Talukdar assured this 7-member team to support them by development for their area and make a visit them during winter. Mr. Dewan assured the team to support them with CHT Regional Councils micro-grants and also linkage them with other development carriers. So far Mr. Dewan gave 2 micro-projects in this area towards construction of a guest house and for a primary school.
The team members of Mr. Jacob are: 1) Mr. Jacob Tripura, Bartholi, ex-UP member, Ward No. 9, Farua Union, Belaichari Upazila, Rangamati Hill District; 2) Mr. Gopal Chandra Tripura, Bartholi, proposed Headman of upper Reingkhyong; 3) Mr. Badula Tripura, Karbari of Pronjang Para; 4) Mr. Birabahu Tripura, Karbari of Bartholi; 5) Mr. Biswa Chandra Tripura, Karbari of Charging Para; 6) Mr. Jarendra Tripura, Karbari of Hatichara and 7) Mr. Daakarna Tripura, Karbari of Seprupara.