Solidarity Visit- Expressing Solidarity with the Munda Community

On 19 August 2022, Friday, perpetrators led by Rasedul Islam and Ibadul Islam of Srifalakanti village, Satkhira attacked to seize 30 bigha (18.6 Acre) of land belonging to a small ethnic community known as the Munda community, living in Dhughat of Shyamnagar Upazila. During this attack Norendro Munda, Sulota Munda, Bilashi Munda and Rani Munda got injured and was admitted in Sathkira Medical College Hospital. Narendranath Munda died while he was under treatment in Satkhira Mdical college Hospital.

On 2 September, 2022, a team headed by the ED of ASK, Mr. Md Nur Khan, visited Dhumghat Mundapara area. During the visit, it was observed that 22 Munda families were living in Dhumghat Mundapara. On the said day of the attack, perpetrators led by Rasedul and Ibadul surrounded the area of Dhumghat, Mundapara. They captured, confined and threatened the members of the families by pointing arms at them and subsequently damaged their nine Bigha (5.58 Acre) of cultivated land and sprouts with electric saw. Narendramunda along with his three daughters-in-law were working in the agricultural field at the time of the attack. When they rushed to the spot and tried to stop them, they were assaulted with axes which led them to suffer serious injuries. Afterwards, leaving the victims injured, the perpetrators continued to loot the crops. However, the Police was informed via calling 999 but unfortunately the perpetrators fled the site before the Police had arrived. Mundas also complained that these incidents have happened before and the perpetrators would come during the harvesting season and seize their crops. This time they received information, 4/5 days prior to the incident and the villagers were in terror and under tremendous fear. The villagers were still terrified as the perpetrators are known to be very influential and powerful to the local residents.
When the ED of ASK with his team visited the area in person, members of HRDF, Satkhira and journalists were also present. The ED of ASK demanded justice for Narendra Munda’s murder and at the same time discussed the matter with the local human rights activists and journalists concerning the necessary steps that should be taken against the land grabbers.
Fanindo Munda filed a case against 30 identified and 160-170 unidentified persons with regard to the attack of 20 August 2022. The law Enforcement Agency failed to capture the leaders Rasedul and Ibadul. Only 5 people were arrested where 4 of them were listed in the FIR.
After the visit. ASK demanded
1. To ensure justice for Narandra Munda’s murder by arresting the perpetrators immediately;
2. Identify the perpetrators and ensure justice for the Munda women who were harassed;
3. To take immediate actions against the land grabbers;
4. To pay compensation for the crops which was seized from the eight Bigha (5 Acre) of land;
5. Police Camp should be established in Mundapara to ensure protection of the Munda community;
6. Immediate steps should be taken by the District Administration to stop exploiters from destroying and seizing the crops;