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Gaibandha Santals call for protests

  • Published at 11:08 am January 7th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:38 am January 7th, 2017
Gaibandha Santals call for protests
They announced two rallies to protest against the incident and press for demands, including justice for the victim Santals, at a media briefing in Rangpur on Saturday. One of the rallies has been planned for January 15 in Rangpur and the other in Rajshahi two days later. The upazila administration evicted around 600 Santal families from their ancestral land in Sahebganj-Badra Sugar Mill area on November 6 and 7. At least three Santals were killed and scores injured in the clashes. Police, RAB and BGB members assisted by local Bangalees, allegedly loyal to the local MP, had carried out the drive. Police filed a case against Santals charging them with obstruction to duty.
Watch: Police set fire to Santal houses in Gaibandha ‘No one told police to set fire to Santal homes’ Sugar Mill clash: Another Santal dead Exclusive: New footage of atrocities against Gaibandha Santals
Thomas Hembrom, one of the victims of the eviction, filed a complaint with Gobindaganj police on November 26 naming 32 individuals, including local MP Abul Kalam Azad, Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Abdul Hannan and Union Parishad Chairman Shakil Ahmed Bulbul, for their alleged involvement in the attacks. Jatiya Adivasi Parishad chief Rabindranath Soren, reading out a written statement on Saturday, alleged harassment of Santals by police. He dubbed the MP and the UP chairman “main perpetrators” of the November 6 eviction and lambasted police for not arresting the main suspects. “Police are raiding Santals' houses … Santals and poor Bengalee peasants are being tortured,” he said. Evicted Santals have been spending their days without a roof over their heads while their children are being denied education, Rabindranath continued. He claimed the government was not doing enough to address their issues. “We are calling for protest rallies this time but we will intensify our agitation if our demands go unheeded,” Rabindranath warned.
Uncertainty still haunts Santals ‘Santals’ claims on sugar mill land valid’
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