Ukhiya, Bangladesh: A huge quantity of timber was seized by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), Bangladesh’s border security force following an operation against timber smugglers on the Burma-Bangladesh border.
On September 13, BDR personnel from Taung Bro camp launched an operation in Chakma Para, “Baish Pari Union” of Nykhongchari district in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). It seized timber worth an estimatedTaka.400,000, said a BDR source.
According to villagers, the seized timber was smuggled from Burma and stored since last month. It was meant to be sold to Bangladeshi timber traders.
According to woodcutters, some of them go inside Burma to cut wood after taking permission from Nasaka (Burma’s border security force) and some go without permission. As a result, Nasaka, sometimes arrest Bangladeshi woodcutters and jail them.
A woodcutter said, “Sometimes, Nasaka penetrates into Bangladesh territory, illegally arrests Bangladeshi woodcutters and take them to their camp in Burma.”
For a long time thousands of Bengali and non-Bengalis have been living and supporting their families by felling trees and bamboo from the forest. They are mostly dependent on forest resources.
Besides, most villagers grow many kinds of trees in their yards or have gardens of their own. When the trees grow big, the villagers cut it down and sell the wood to traders to maintain their families.