Alleging that two local MPs and some Awami League leaders were conspiring to grab the land of Santal community at Bashbaria village in Puthia upazila of Rajshahi in the name of establishing an institution, ethnic minority community members on Tuesday demanded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's intervention to protect their land.
'Santal Homestead Protection Committee' made the demand from a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
Rajshahi-4 MP Engineer Enamul Haque and MP Abdul Wadud from Rajshahi-5, and local ruling party leaders were conspiring to evict the ethnic minority community members from their homesteads and grab their land for establishing an institute named Northern Institute, speakers at the press conference alleged.
"We've been living in the homesteads on our ancestral land for ages. We endured untold sufferings during the Liberation War. And now, we're being displaced unjustly by our own MPs and ruling party men," said Shukol Tudu, a member of the committee.
Ganesh Tudu, another member of the committee, alleged that they were constantly receiving threats from the 'men of the MPs'. "They're plotting to send us to India. Several houses have been marked for eviction by putting up poles around them," he said.
Expressing solidarity with the Santal Homestead Protection Committee, Sukumar Chandra Kabiraj, publication secretary of Awami League's Bagmara municipality unit in Rajshahi, said the Prime Minister gave the Rohingya community shelter in Bangladesh but the Santal community of Bashbaria village is getting evicted from their own property. "Local MPs are trying to occupy the land we own defying all the court orders."
Demanding justice for them, the committee members expressed the hope that the Prime Minister will oon look into the matter.
Contacted, Enamul Haque denied the allegation of grabbing the land of the Santal community.