In Kuakata, a famous place in the south-western Bangladesh, under Patuakhali district, also popularly known as the ‘daughter of sea’, indigenous Rakhines are losing their traditional lands continuously. There is an influential section of mainstream population who always try to grab the land of indigenous people using their power and muscle. Most of the time they use the tactics of arranging fake documents, fake ownership, intimidating suit and attacks while grabbing lands of indigenous peoples. Moreover, there is an allegation against the corrupted officials of local land office to have involvement in this regard with this vested group of the dominant circle. Following this type of illegal arrangement in Patuakhali region, most of the Rakhaine families have lost their lands and, many of them already left and forced to resettle elsewhere, even in Myanmar.
Recently published a media report claims, currently about 1300 Rakhaines are living in Kapapara upazila under Patuakhali district. Among them, almost 90 per cent land owner have already lost their ownership due to fraud victimization. The report also depicts many Rakhaine families have lost all their family savings due to runningthe false cases. The leaders of Rakhaine community have informed several times to government about this issue. However, no action was taken at all in this regard. If this trend continues, within a short period of time Rakhaine people will be disappeared from Kuakata and its adjacent areas.
According to the media report, sometimes, the land grabbers also file fabricated cases against the Rakhaine land owners as a tool of making them harassed. As a result, for avoiding hazards and harassment, indigenous Rakhaine peoples compelled to sell their land far less than actual price.
Caritas ICDP Rakhaine project provide legal aid in connection with the land cases. However, without proper government intervention, this may not be enough to save the land of Rakhaine people.
Source: Kapaeeng Foundation