Subject matter of the case-
The inaction and failure of the respondents to restrain Abul Khair Group (a respondent to the case) from evicting and interrupting the peaceful possession of more than 75 numbers of Sonaichhari Tripura Families situated in the SitakundaUpazila of Chittagong, and to further take appropriate legal actions against Abul Khair Group from infringing the rights of the families and to direct the respondents to restore and secure the peaceful possession of their homesteads.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), represented by its Executive Director, filed a writ petition before the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against the Government of Bangladesh and others for their failure to take necessary steps against Abul Khair Group, one of the respondents in the case who are trying to evict and interfere with the peaceful possession of more than 75 Sonaichhari Tripura Families residing in the homestead for over 150 years situated in the SitakundaUpazila of Chittagong.
Several newspapers of the country published news on this outrageous act by Abul Khair Group and the land grabbers who even went to the area and tried to put barbed-fence to take control of the land owned by the Tripura people.
The petitioner stated that despite of all the news being published on the daily nationals mentioning the suffering and torment faced by the ethnic Tripura families of Sonaichhari and several complaints from the locals which was not even recorded by the authorities, the local administration remained silent and failed to take any action against the land grabber who through threatening to inflict physical torture illegally and arbitrarily tried to invade the homestead of the helpless and poor Sonaichhari ethnic Tripura Families belonging to the minority community of the country, earning their livelihood by cultivating zooms on the hills near to their residence for over 100 years.
The petitioner stated that the respondents owed the Sonaichhari ethnic Tripura Families a constitutional obligation to ensure their protection from the miscreants and secure their homesteads. They are obliged under Article 23A of the Constitution of Bangladesh which enshrines the state’s duty to protect the local culture and tradition of the tribes, minor races, ethnic sects and communities which they have failed to fulfill by not taking proper actions and thus violating Article 15, 31, 32 and 42 of the Constitution of Bangladesh.
Considering these incidents, the petitioner pleaded before the court to issue a Rule Nisi calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why the impugned inaction and failure of the respondents to take appropriate action against Abul Khair Group from evicting and disturbing the peaceful possession of the75 Sonaichhari Tripura families shall not be declared to have been done unlawfully. The petitioners also pleaded to the Court to direct the respondents to restore and secure the peaceful possession of the evicted local residents of their homesteads.
Ruling of the court-
On June 14, 2021, the High Court Division directed the respondents to not to further evict Tripuras from Sonaichhari in Chittagong’s Sitakundaupazila until further orders. The court also issued a rule seeking an explanation as to why the inaction and failure of the concerned government authorities in evicting the hill people of the Tripura community in Sonaichhari’s Tripura Para by Abul Khair Group of Industries would not be declared illegal to be submitted within 4 (four) weeks.