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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Update Tendyong 4: Congress and BJP demand permanent rehabilitation and security of Tendyong communal victims


Agartala, Aug 6 — The Congress and the BJP Tuesday demanded permanent
rehabilitation and security for displaced Bangladeshi tribals who last
week fled to Tripura after ethnic strife broke out with non-tribal Muslims
in Chittagong Hill tracts (CHT).

Over 200 Congress members led by state party president Diba Chandra
Hrangkhawl and working president Ashish Saha met the head of the
Bangladesh mission in Agartala, Obaidur Rahman, and submitted a memorandum
demanding proper rehabilitation and security to tribals in that country.
A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by state party
president Sudhindra Dasgupta, also met Rahman here and put up a similar

Over 1,800 men, women and children of Chakma and Tripuri tribes took
shelter in the India-Bangladesh border village of Karbook Saturday after
fleeing from five villages in Khagrachari district under CHT in southeast

The tribals returned to their villages Sunday after three Bangladeshi MPs
and officials of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the local
administration assured them full security.

"We have submitted a memorandum to the head of the Bangladesh mission here
addressed to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina demanding security
and rehabilitation to the minority tribals in CHT," Hrangkhawl told
He said: "The Congress wants equal treatment for Bangladeshi citizens,
especially the minorities."

"Minorities in Bangladesh are being attacked by the majority Muslims. The
government must take stern action against the perpetrators and provide
security to non-Muslim minorities," Dasgupta told reporters.
Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General Bhaskar Rawat said:

"The tribals entered Indian territory Saturday evening after ethnic
troubles in Bangladesh. They were stopped at the border by the BSF at the
barbed wire fence. We provided them food and other assistance."
The tribals, mostly Buddhists and Hindus, fled the CHT after clashes over
the reported abduction of a local leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP), the main opposition in Bangladesh, led by former prime
minister Khaleda Zia.

"At least one tribal villager was killed and four others were seriously
injured. About 500 tribal houses were burnt to ashes," Suhas Chakma,
director of Delhi-based rights group Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR),
said in a press release.

Additional troopers of the BSF have been deployed along the
India-Bangladesh border to deal with the situation and to prevent refugee
influx into Indian territory.

In 1986, over 74,000 tribals - mostly Buddhist Chakmas - took shelter in
southern Tripura following violent attacks on thousands of tribals by
non-tribals. They returned to their homes in Bangladesh 1997-98 after the
Bangladesh government signed a peace agreement with Shanti Bahini, an
outlawed outfit had been demanding sovereign status for tribals in CHT.
Tripura shares a 856-km border with Bangladesh, which is porous because it
extends over mountains that are densely forested. Over 85 percent of the
border has been fenced.

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