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Santal people’s fate remains unchanged

  • Published at 11:43 pm November 11th, 2016
Santal people’s fate remains unchanged
Fates of Santal people, who have been ostracised, remain unchanged after six days of violent attacks on them at Madarpur village in Gobindaganj, Gaibandha. Meanwhile, the death toll from the incident reached at three as another Santal man Romesh Shoren, 40, died on Thursday while undergoing treatment. Family member claimed that Romesh died on early Thursday while undergoing treatment secretly to avoid arrest; however, police claimed it was a regular death.
Also Read- Injured Gaibnadha Santals being treated in handcuffs
While asked, OC of Gobindaganj police Subroto Kumer Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune that it was a regular death and it have no connection with the conflict. The village close to Sahebganj-Bagda farm in Gobindaganj, Gaibandha came under violent attack on November 6 and 7 which left everything to ashes after being looted, leaving three Santal men dead and injured over thirty people. After the clash, Santal families abandon their houses in fear of mass arrests in the latest flashpoint of a long-running land dispute. [caption id="attachment_31233" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Members of Santal community, displaced by violence over possession of lands in Gaibandha's Gobindaganj upazila, are living without roof in nearby villages, fearing of more assaults Mehdi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune Members of Santal community, displaced by violence over possession of lands in Gaibandha's Gobindaganj upazila, are living without roof in nearby villages, fearing of more assaults Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Meanwhile, affected victims told the Dhaka Tribune on Friday that they have been in the same position without any security since the attack took place. Their situation remains unchanged as men, women and children cannot go out of their shelters due to fear of further assaults in the streets or outside, they alleged. Rather, the administration had asked to leave the villages where they are now taking shelters after being evicted from their land, they alleged. “What you have seen there is still in the same state. You people from Dhaka do not see us, where will we go?” Bhupen Mardy said.
Also Read- Watch: Tractor tramples burned down Santal village in Gaibandha
Gobindaganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abdul Hannan said: “We visited Madarpur village Thursday afternoon and gave assurances to the victims that their children can go to schools while people can go outside of the villages. “We have also given them our contact numbers so that they can inform us whenever they need security. But the problem is that the Santals do not want to talk to us. So it would take time to improve the situation here,” he said. [caption id="attachment_31204" align="aligncenter" width="800"]After being burned down and trampled, all that remains of this Madarpur home are the holes in the ground made for a stove Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune After being burned down and trampled, all that remains of this Madarpur home are the holes in the ground made for a stove Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] But the fear remains in affected community people as they said they cannot trust or keep faith to anyone, anymore. “We are still suffering. There is nothing to trust anymore,” said the feared indigenous man Sri Ezekiel.

AL delegation to visit affected areas tomorrow

A five member delegation of ruling Awami League, comprising of central working committee members, will visit the Santal living areas in Gobindaganj tomorrow. The delegation team comprising AL organizing secretary ABM Mozammel Haque, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Finance secretary Tipu Munshi, Relief secretary Sujit Roy Nandy and member Reymond Areng, said a press release.

Judicial inquiry demanded

Human rights activists and leaders of indigenous community on Friday demanded judicial inquiry into the incident and compensation for the people affected during the clash. Addressing a press conference organised by Bangladesh Adibashi Forum, Jatiyo Adibashi Parishad and Nagorik Somaj at the Dhaka Reporters Unity, human rights activist Sultana Kamal demanded justice for the loot and killing done against Santal people.