Mru families build fires to keep warm at night

A family stands in front of their damaged house in Rengyenpara in Bandarban’s Lama upazila on 2 January 2023.Collected

The Mru families of Rengyenpara, victims of attack, arson and looting in Bandarban's Lamar Soroi, spent the night building fires in the cold winter. They shivered, having no warm clothes, and in fear. The residents of the neighborhood on Monday night took turns in guarding the area as they spotted flashlights on the hill nearby, said the chief of the Rengyenpara, Rengyen Mru.

Miscreants allegedly attacked the Mru people as well as torched and vandalised seven houses in Bandarban’s Lama upazila in the wee hours of Monday.

The victims including children fled their houses in the cold at midnight, to escape the attack, but looters took their clothes and valuables.

Mru people alleged, "A group of miscreants of the Lama Rubber Industries Limited came to the area in a truck and attacked us and carried out the looting."

Also Read

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) ordered the district administration and the superintendent of police to take legal action against the rubber company and rehabilitate the Mru and the Tribura people.

Rengyenpara chief Rengyen Mru said more than 100 people of Lama Rubber Industries, carrying sticks, came to the area in a truck around 1:00am on Monday. They then attacked the houses, chanting ‘grab the Mru’.

Hearing the noise, the Mru people fled to the nearby jungle. While leaving, the miscreants vandalised four houses, set fire to houses and looted everything including cattle, chickens, blankets and solar panels.

A victim, Chamrum Mru, said that she is at her father's house with her two children. When the miscreants attacked and set fire to the house, they ran away with nothing. The attackers looted everything from the father's house. Now it is very cold on the hills. The do not have blankets. As they had no warm clothes, they had no choice but to light fires and spend the night trying to keep warm.

Rengyen Mru, said that after the attack and looting, the residents of the neighborhood are petrified. Around 10 to 12 flashlights were spotted near the area around 9:00pm on Monday night which created panic among the residents. The men took turns keeping watch all night. Half an hour after informing the police, the flashlights disappeared.