On 24 October 2013 midnight, the house of Ratan Sangma (35), s/o Sujit Gabil was burnt to ashes by a group of miscreants at Kewachala Garo Para of Shreepur municipality under Gazipur District. This attack was allegedly made by a group of Bengalis led by Shajahan Mia, s/o late Abdul Mannan; Masud Rana, s/o Sirajul Islam and Delwar Hossain, s/o late Noor Muhamad, all of who are known as local Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders.
It is learnt that the incident was originated from a soccer match took place between the youths of Garo Para Mission and Kewachala Garo Para on 23 October 2013 where Kewachala Garo Para won. After the victory, the villagers of Kewachala decided to organize a celebration event on the following day. However, they did not invite the aforementioned BNP leaders in that event. As a consequence, those leaders felt offended and threatened the Kewachala’s indigenous villagers to ruin the celebration event. Despite this threat, however, the indigenous villagers organized the event the next day (24 October) in the evening where Md. Anisur Rahman, the Mayor of Shreepur Municipality (belonging to Awami League) was present as the chief guest. After Md. Anisur left the venue at around 10:00 pm, Shajahan Mian, Masud Rana and Delwar Hossain along with a gang of Bengalis vandalized the stage of the event. Consequently, a minor altercation took place between the attackers and the indigenous villagers present there. After a little while the program was shut down and the agitated people were placated as some leaders of both the conflicting groups took a step. Notably, though Ratan, the victim was present at the spot, he was not involved with the clash that took place in there.
Later on when all left the place of the incident, Ratan also returned home and went to bed at 11:30 pm along with his wife and children. At around 3:00 am in the morning Ratan and other members of his family suddenly woke up as they felt extreme heat being emitted from the fire spreading all over their home. Then they somehow managed to get out of their home and called their neighbors for help. However, meanwhile their home was burnt to ashes along with all the valuables they had. Estimated loss of assets from this incident was approximately BDT 1 million.
Ratan Sangma alleged Shajahan Mian, Masud Rana and Delwar Hossain for the arson as he was confirmed about the perpetrators from different reliable sources. A case [case no. 4385(3)/1 dated 26 October 2013] was filed against the alleged perpetrators with Shreepur Model Police Station by Ratan’s family. However, police has not taken any action against the perpetrators yet. Neither has taken any initiative by other government agencies/ representatives and non-government organizations to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Notably, the main reason behind the attack was to grab the land of Ratan and his family, as confirmed by Ratan’s family. Even six months ago Shajahan and his gang once attempted to forcefully grab their land. At that time Ratan and other local indigenous people jointly resisted them. Since then Shajahan and companions have threatened and harassed Ratan’s family many times.
Source: Kapaeeng Foundation