In the village of Uttar Gabbaria in Pochakoralia Union in Borguna Taltoli sub district, a group of influential people under the protection of the local Jubo League leader has driven away 14 Hindu families.
These families sold their homes and properties in return for almost nothing. They did so as they couldn’t tolerate the torture inflicted on them by the local powerful thugs anymore. These people used to earn their living by tending crops and managing tea stalls.
Among the people who had to leave, one Jadob Sarkar had filed a case at Taltoli police station on 23rd March on account of being harassed by the local influential people. As a result, the police arrested Abdur Rashid Akon, the 42 year-old son of Monsur Akon.
Jadob Sarkar stated that Abdur Rashid used to demand bribes (chanda) from him three years back. On top of that, he used to harass Jadob’s school going daughter. Jadob had demanded justice for this to the locals but was disappointed.
Later Jadob filed a complaint against Abdur Rashid under the Anti-Violence against Women and Child Act at a court in Barguna. Abdur Rashid was arrested and was later released and became even more uncontrollable than before.
Jadob Sarkar withdrew his complaint against Abdur Rashid under the reassurance of the local Awami League leaders. But to his distress, Abdur Rashid continued making Jadob, his family and other Hindu families suffer.
Jadob stated that in 2013, due to all the suffering, three Hindu families left their homes and ran away to Barguna city. Then again at the beginning of 2014, two other families moved for the same reason.
He further added that on 11th March, 20-25 people including Abdur Rashid came to the Hindu families and demanded money from them. They asked them to leave their land if they couldn’t provide the money and even threatened to kill them. For this reason, on 13th March, nine Hindu families from that village left their home and went to Barguna and took shelter there.
The locals reported that Abdur Rashid is protected by Jubo League members Jakir Hossain and his brother Abdus Salam, sons of Hakim Ali Sardar and that he does all this at their orders.
After some interrogating the names of those who had to leave have been found. They are, Kartik Rai (60), Horen Rai (55), Madhob Sarkar (45), Dhiren Sarkar (75), Shuvash Sarkar (44), Ramesh Sarkar (32), Ripon Rai (40), Nila Rani (50), Ranajit Sarkar (60), Shaymol (41), Shumonto (42), Babul (35) and Jiten Rai (65).
On 24th March, after the incident, the additional district magistrate, Muhammad Habibur Rahman and the additional police superintendent of Barguna, Muhammad Jahangir Alam inspected the area.
Muhammad Jahangir Alam said, “We have taken all necessary steps. We have arranged for them to come back to their homes but they are scared to do so.”
Taslima Begum, a local from the Gabbaria village stated that some people, under the direction of Zakir Hossain, came and vandalised the homes of the Hindu families. And hence they were forced to leave their homes behind and move.
But the Jubo League member Zakir Hossaid alleged that no one is at fault here. The Hindus sold their homes and moved of their own accord.