JAP president, 21 others indigenous sued

Bringing a paddy pillage allegation, a man of Parbatipur Upazila of Dinajpur has filed a case accusing 22 people of the Indigenous community, including the president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (JAP) and his son.

JAP is a rights watchdog of ethnic minority in the country.

The incident triggered a waveof panic among the ethnic minority people.

Rabindranath Soren, 60, the President of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (JAP) has been made the prime accused in the case while his only son Manik Soren 35, has also been sued in the case.

Mahbubur Rahman 55, son of late Abdul Zabbar of Barachandipur village under Parbatipur Upazila of Dinajpur, filed the case with a Senior Judicial Magistrate Court in Dinajpur on May 5.

All the accused in the case are from the Adivasi community.

In the case, the plaintiff has sued them under section 143/447/323/324/354/379/506(2)/114.

He mentioned that these 22 people of Adivasi community led by Rabindranath Soren pillaged 65 maunds of paddy worth Tk 45,000 from his leased land on April 26 morning.

A clash was also taken place at the spot on that day.

Protesting the case, including the president of JAP, the leaders of Dinajpur based Jatiya Adivasi Parishad at a press conference strongly condemned it. Terming the plaintiff as an influential landgrabber, the leaders claimed that the land grabber filed the case intentionally for harassing and humiliating the top leader of JAP like Rabindranath Soren, who has been fighting for the rights of flatland ethnic people in the country.

It is a matter of concern to the leaders, they said.

Shital Mardi, president of Dinajpur unit of JAP readout the written statement at the press conference held at Dinajpur Press Club on Wednesday noon, in presence of other leaders.

So far, Mahbubur Rahman has filed 3 cases against the indigenous people since they started a move to recoverone acre and 25 decimals of land from his occupation.

Besides, two cases have been filed against Mahbubur Rahman.

The disputed landbelonged to Suki Mardi. Later, their heirNiren Mardi has been living on the land, which is located at Barokonain Parbatipur Upazila of Dinajpur, an Adivasi dominated area in the upazila.

Since then Mahbubur Rahman, allegedly started conspiring to take the land into his possession since he realised that the land has been included in the land record as an abandoned property.

Finally, he succeeded to get 95 decimals of land as a lease.

When Niren Mardi came to know the matter, he filed applications to different relevant departments seeking help to cancel the lease in July last year, which angered Mahbubur Rahman.

As Rabindranath Soren, president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, had been involved with the incident as the people of his village were suffering, Mahbubur Rahman sued him in a bid to harass him, socially and mentally, alleged the leaders of JAP in Dinajpur.

At the press conference, the leaders of JAP pressed the government 5-charter demands, including cancellation of the lease, withdrawal of case against the indigenous people and punishment of the land grabber Mahbubur Rahman.

Besides, the land problem of Indigenous people in the country has to be solved by forming a separate land commission in the country.

Talking with The Daily Star, Rabindranath Soren, the president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, said it was beyond his understanding why he and his son Manik Soren had been sued in the case.

“I have a right to fight for the people of my community,” he said.

Contacted, the plaintiff, Mahbubur Rahman, alleged that Rabindranath Soren is a land grabber and said the land has been in his possession for the last 40 years.

They are claiming ownership of the land-based on false documents.


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