The victims of Langadu arson attack that burned about three hundred houses to ashes in June this year were passing their days in severe food crisis, speakers said at a press conference on Thursday.
‘They are surviving mostly on potatoes collected from the forests nearby,’ said Mesbah Kamal, coordinator of technical committee, Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples.
Mesbah said the victims were living in fear of possible attack and did not go for work or cultivation.
Chakmas were left with no alternative but to live on foods collected from nearby forests, he added.
Hundreds of Bengali settlers launched the attack on at least three neighbourhoods of ethnic minority Chakma people at Langadu in Rangamati on June 2. The attack came after local Juba League leader Nurul Islam Nayan was found dead at Char Kilometre in Khagrachhari on June 1.
Rangamati Juba League placed the blame squarely on Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti, a regional political party of the hill people, and said it was behind the murder of Nurul Islam.
The PCJSS, however, denied the allegation.
‘It is a matter of regret that we could not help the arson victims getting back to normal life even after five months,’ said Mesbah.
He was addressing a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the morning to announce a three-day fundraising exhibition titled ‘Phoenix of Langadu’ for the victims.
Terracotta Creatives Multimedia organised the press conference in association with the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples.
The exhibition will begin on October 16 at Drik gallery where 50 photographs and 80 paintings will be put up for sale.
‘That are the art works of a hundred promising and well-known artists,’ said Mrittika Kamal, director of Terracotta Creatives.
‘The profits from the sales will be donated to the victims, particularly the children,’ she added.
Technocrat members of the caucus Kazi Rozi, Zannat-e-Ferdousi and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong were present at the press conference.
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