Other States

Dhaka assures Meghalaya safety of minority communities

Dhaka has assured the Meghalaya government that it will take care of minority communities reportedly being evicted from their homelands in Bangladesh. These communities are ethnically related to tribes in the northeast.

Meghalaya’s Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said he had taken up with the Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, Muhammad Imran, the issue of the alleged eviction of some 7,000 Garo and 10,000 Mro people in Bangladesh.

The Garo, a matrilineal community, are spread across Meghalaya and Bangladesh while the Mro, a sub-group of the Chin people, spread across Myanmar and some northeastern States concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh.

“I discussed the reports of eviction of the Garo and Mro people with the Bangladesh diplomat. He said it was a non-issue and the Bangladesh government would give them the best places in case of any relocation because they are permanent citizens of their country,” Mr. Tynsong said after Mr. Imran called on him in capital Shillong on Wednesday.

Mr. Tynsong said issues involving two countries were discussed between the governments at the Centre, but he raised the issue as it involved a community that was related to the Garos, one of the three principal ethnic groups in Meghalaya.

The New Delhi-based Rights and Risks Analysis Group had a few days ago requested all the chief ministers of the northeast to urge External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to flag the forcible eviction of the Garo and Mro people during his scheduled visit to Dhaka on March 4. The group also sought pressure on the Bangladesh government for the implementation of the CHT Accord.

The rights group maintained that unless these issues are raised, there are strong possibilities that the Garos being displaced from the Madhupur forest in Bangladesh’s Tangail district may be forced to flee to Meghalaya while indigenous Mro people of Bandarban district of the CHT may flee to Mizoram.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 1:49:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dhaka-assures-meghalaya-safety-of-minority-communities/article33936503.ece

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