GUWAHATI: Bangladesh has assured India that it would take care of some minority communities, allegedly facing eviction from their homeland.
The communities, Garo and Mro, have affinities with some tribes of the Northeast. The Garos have a large population in Meghalaya. Mros are also settled in some states of the Northeast besides Myanmar.
Meghalaya’s Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong took up the issue with Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, Muhammad Imran.
“There are reports about the eviction of Garo and Mro people in Bangladesh. So, I discussed the matter with the envoy. He said Bangladesh will suitably rehabilitate them in case they are to be relocated as they are its permanent citizens,” Tynsong said.
New Delhi-based Rights and Risks Analysis Group had earlier requested all Chief Ministers of the Northeast to urge External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to raise the issue of “forcible eviction” of about 7,000 Garos and 10,000 Mro people during his forthcoming visit to Dhaka.
“Unless these issues are raised, there are strong possibilities that the Garos being displaced from Madhupur forest in Tangail district may be gradually forced to flee to Meghalaya while indigenous Mro people of Bandarban district of the Chittagong Hill Tracts similarly may flee to Mizoram or assimilate into the mainstream Islamic society in Bangladesh,” the group said.
It said the non-implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997 has direct implications for peace, security, and stability in the Northeast.
“In September 2020, Bangladesh Army and Sikder Group conglomerate company, R&R Holdings Limited, started construction of a five-star tourism project including a Marriott hotel, extensive network of buildings, roads and sewage system at Chimbuk-Thanchi area of Bandarban. This project will displace about 10,000 indigenous Mro people. On February 9, 2021, seven UN human rights experts urged Bangladesh to suspend the construction of the large-scale tourist infrastructures,” the group said.