Indigenous peoples' organizations held a press conference and presented their demands in Tangail
Human chains, protest rallies and discussion sessions were held in Gaibandha, Dinajpur and Tangail marking the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on Sunday.
In Gaibandha, human rights activists and Santal people from Shahebganj-Bagdafarm area formed a human chain and took part in a protest rally over the various injustices the Santal people in the region have reportedly had to confront.
The rally began from Madarpur-Joypur Santal Palli and ended 14 kilometres away at Gobindaganj police station intersection area with a human chain formed.
Among others, presidium member of the central committee of the Communist Party of Bangladesh Mihir Ghosh, also president of Shahebganj Bagdafarm Bhumi Uddhar Sangram Committee , Waziur Rahman Rafel, convener of Poribeshbadi Andolon (Environmentalist Movement) and Trinshna Mumu, a leader of the local Indigenous peoples spoke at the human chain.
The protesters demanded return of the land that belongs to the Santal people. They have also sought justice for the murder of 3 people from Santal community and the incidents of burning down many homes of the community in the past.
In Dinajpur, forming of a human chain and a discussion meeting were among the programs that were held to mark the world's indigenous peoples day in Birol upazila.
The programs were jointly organized by the Community Development Association (CDA) and Association for Land Reform and Development(ALRD).
A memorandum consisting a list of demands was submitted to the Birol Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) during the meeting that took place at a restaurant after the human chain formed.
Manik Adhikari, president of Janashangathan Oikkya Parishad (Birol-Bochaganj) chaired the meeting. Among others CDA regional Managing Director Md Kamruzzaman, president of Dinajpur Press Club MA Kuddus Sarkar, Birol upazila president of Adibashi Shamobai Samity Harun Ekka spoke during the programs.
In Tangail, indigenous peoples' organizations held a press conference and presented an 11 point demand at the Bangabandhu Auditorium in Tangail Press Club.
Sulekha Mro, general secretary of Achik Michik Society requested adequate government support for thousands of indigenous men and women who are currently remaining unemployed due to the Covid-19 situation.
The 11-point demand of the speakers during the conference includes: at least 15 reserved seats in the parliament for the indigenous people of the country, opening of a separate ministry for the indigenous people living on plain land, selecting indigenous women for the reserved female seat in the parliament etc.
Among other leaders of the indigenous peoples' organizations, Yujin Nokrek, president of Joyenshahi Adivasi Unnayan Parishad, Niken Mri, chairman of Pirgachhi unit Co-operative Credit Union and advocate MA Karim Miya were present at the conference.