Affected people of Soroi union at Lama upazila in Bandarban refused aid from the local administration as the relief was given in presence of the rubber company people allegedly involved in burning the jhum lands.
Local residents said Sunday that they had refused to receive the relief when Lama Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mostafa Javed Kaiser tried to distribute the aid in presence of the rubber company staff.
Johon Mro, a resident of Langkom Mro area, said that the local administration people first distributed relief among the residents of Jaichandra Tripura Para.
But an employee of Lama Rubber Company namely Mohsin was present there. He was also helping with relief distribution.
When the relief receivers came to know this, they refused it.
"Those who have burned this huge area should not be present during aid distribution. We cannot accept this," he said.
There were rice, lentils, puffed rice and two litres of mineral water in the aid package.
However, refuting the allegations, Kamal Uddin, managing director (MD) of Lama Rubber Industries Ltd, claimed that the 400 acres of land, which is leased by the company, was set on fire to clear stubble, weeds and waste for planting rubber saplings and cashew nuts.
"No one in the neighbourhood was harmed. All homes in the area are intact," he added.
On 26 April, a rubber company burned 300 acres to 350 acres of jhum lands, garden and natural forest at Soroi union of Lama pushing 36 local families into food crisis.
Langkom Mro, chief of Langkompara, told The Business Standard that they would rather prefer starve to death but will not take relief from those who burned down gardens.
UNO Kaiser said that the local administration first distributed the relief among 16 families of Jaichandra para.
When they went to the Langkom Mro para, they refused to take relief due to the presence of Lama Rubber Industries workers. Later all other people refused the relief offered to them although the company people were removed from the spots.