Mro people in Bandarban protest ‘hill land grabbing’ for 5-star hotel, tourist spot

Mro people in Bandarban protest ‘hill land grabbing’ for 5-star hotel, tourist spot



People from Mro community in Bandarban have protested against construction of a five-star hotel and tourist spot in Chimbuk Hill area.

They alleged that a welfare organisation and Sikder Group are trying to grab about 1,000 acres of jhum land from Kapru Para Bazar to Jiban Nagar area in the name of constructing a hotel and creating a tourist spot.

The initiative, if implemented, will directly affect six villages of the Mro community and indirectly affect another 70 to 116 villages of the community, speakers said at a protest programme held at Kapru Bazar area on Sunday morning.

Around a thousand people from the Mro community participated in the demonstration and called upon authorities concerned to stop the construction activities in the area.

They also said the initiative will leave around 10,000 jhum cultivators landless and without a livelihood, adding that the area also includes many houses of the Mro people and their cremation site.

Contacted, Farid Uddin Khan, chief co-ordinator of Sikder Group, denied allegations of land grabbing in the hill and said they had leased the land to construct the five-star hotel, giving Bandarban Zila Parishad (District Council) an eight-percent share.

Mong Shwiching Chak, a member of Bandarban Zila Parishad, however told The Daily Star that the district council did not have any agreement with Sikder Group to this end.