A community under assault

Jun 3, 2017
Nothing justifies the terrible attack on the indigenous people of Langadu upazila, Rangamati. Homes torched. Shops looted. Children terrified. Several hundred indigenous people forced to flee on foot, leaving behind all their possessions. The fact that this was a pre-meditated attack on an ethnic minority on part of Bengali settlers makes it all the more troubling, and part of a pattern we have been seeing in recent years.
It is understood that a motorcyclist’s dead body was found, but in another village. But questions still remain: What led the Bangalis to blame the local adivasis? And why have the police not done anything to stop the attacks? It seems cooked up excuses are being used to justify attacks on an indigenous community.
Though Section 144 has been declared, it is imperative that the police get to the root of these attacks. Communal violence in the hill tracts region has gone too far, and the Langadu incident shows that they will keep happening if the perpetrators are not brought to book. In the past, we have seen excuses being manufactured to justify horrific attacks on Hindu and Buddhist communities.
Our law enforcement must get to the bottom of what happened in Rangamati, and protect the indigenous people of the region. The long-standing prejudice against our indigenous communities, and the ongoing persecution of minorities within our borders, is a shameful failure of Bangladesh. The government must right these wrongs and end communal hatred for good.
Dhaka Tribune, June 3, 2017

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