Bangladesh: An Innocent Indigenous Jum Farmer Shot Dead By Forest Guards In Kaptai


    On 19 October 2012 around 12.00 noon an innocent indigenous Jum farmer was shot dead by forest guards led by beat officer Md Jahangir while victim went to collect firewood for domestic work from a broken tree at Reserve Forest Shalban area under Kaptai upazila in Rangamati district. The victim was identified as Priya Lal Tanchangya (35) son of Bishak Dhan Tanchangya from Bagmara village of Kaptai union and Bajyatali mouza, the nearest village of Shalban forest area. The dead body was found with sign of bullet mark into stomach and at chest’s left side. His brain was also wounded in bleeding.

    It is known that around 5:15pm a troop of police from Kaptai police station recovered the dead body of Priya Lal. Considerably, the Reserve Forest Shalban area was permitted to have access for public although it was controlled by local forest department. The local community people have been cultivating in this Jum area here so far. On 20 October 2012 Jibak Tanchangya, brother-in-law of deceased, filed a murder case against unidentified 10/12 forest guards with Kaptai police station. But police did not take action in this regard. It is learnt that forest department staff offered taka 200,000 to the wife of Priuya Lal Tanchangya to compromise the issue.

    It is worth mentioning that several unlawful killings, missing were committed allegedly for long time by forest department staff in this area. But they are not receiving any justice legally against such these incidents. Unhindered human right is contravening by killing indigenous people in these areas by forest department staff. Another remarkable occurrence of killing by forest guard can be mentioned here. On 7 April 2012 an indigenous adolescent named Ula Mong Marma (14) son of Thui Mra Chai Marma of village- Aga Para of Chitmorom union under Kaptai upazila of Rangamati district was allegedly killed by hitting on the head by forest guards of Karnophuli forest range of forest department while the victim was collecting firewood for domestic use nearby reserved forest under Karnophuli reserved forest. It is learnt that a case was filed with the Chandraghona police station in this connection. But police did not arrest anyone next to this matter.