Conflicts between Muslims and the indigenous people in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT), the south-eastern part of the country, take place quite often. Most of the conflicts remained unsolved and without justice being served to the victims. There are several reasons behind the clashes, like religion, land, cultural differences, communal conflicts etc. One thing that is constant is that the minority indigenous people always pay a high price as a result.
Very recently, on July 5th, 2022, an indigenous village in Maischari, Mahalchari of Khagrachari, was set on fire by the Muslim people at around 10 am local time. The Muslims were settlers who were moved by the military from other parts of the country, and they do not have their own land or property.
During the attack, at least 35 houses burned down completely, among them were six Christian families. Now the victims are living under the open sky.
On that day, around 200 Muslims gathered together in the morning and attacked the village while all the men were out of the home working. The women and children of the village tried to resist the attackers but failed.
During the attack, the perpetrators were very aggressive and carried sharp weapons and long pieces of wood. They chased out the women and children of the village, threatened them, and then looted and vandalized the houses.
They burnt the houses before they left the place. In the attack at least two men were severely injured.
The villagers are very poor. Their houses were made with bamboo and wood, which catches fire easily and burned down into ashes very quickly.
After the attack, the authorities deployed the military there, where the military restricted the movement of the villagers in order to halt another conflict.
According to a source, the issue due to a conflict on land and property. The villagers have been dwelling and cultivating the land for years, even before the independence of the country over 50 years ago. But now, the Muslim settlers are claiming that the land is theirs and they want to evacuate the original villagers from there.
OD local partners in Bangladesh are praying for the victims and encouraging them in this trying season. They are also looking for ways to help them. Since it is the rainy season and it rains often, the people are suffering much.
- Pray for the villagers who have lost their houses along with their belongings. Pray that they would be able to recover soon from the situation. Pray for God to protect them from further attack.
- Pray that the authority will take the necessary steps and make sure for justice. Pray that they will be able to solve the conflict and will be able to forgive one another.
- Pray for the neighbouring villagers that they will extend help to these people with food and shelter.
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