Bangalee settlers in Burighat union of Naniarchhar in Rangamati blame the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF), an indigenous organisation against the CHT Peace Accord, for provoking them by destroying their plantation secretly.
They claimed that the UPDF had orchestrated the chopping down of pineapple plants and teak saplings of the Bangalees and instigated the reprisal to get the sympathy and aid of local and international organisations for the indigenous people.
However, a number of UPDF leaders and the indigenous people blame the Bangalees, saying they backed by the law enforcers had destroyed their own crops to have an excuse to launch an attack on the indigenous and grab their land.
The Daily Star correspondent over the last two days talked to a number of UPDF leaders, who have a strong hold in Naniarchhar, their rival Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti activists, indigenous people and Bangalees of the area.
The indigenous victims of Tuesday’s arson carried out by Bangalee settlers said that they had no idea about the destruction of pineapple and teak plants.
They said it was not possible for 70 villagers of Suridaspara to destroy 4.5 lakh pineapple plants and 20,000 teak saplings on 10 acres of land in ethnic dominated Suridaspara and predominantly Bangalee Bogachhari.
It would have taken between 100 and 200 people to do the job and it still would have taken them hours, they said, adding that the UPDF could have brought in people from elsewhere for the job keeping people of Suridaspara in the dark.
AGENCY, THE DAILY STAR