Claims of inconsistencies and double standards in Rajuk’s eviction drive following the terrible July 1 Holey Artisan attack need to be investigated in order to avoid undue harassment and persecution of business owners.
Numerous restaurants and shops on Thursday had their businesses shut down, with their signs and shutters being demolished, in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi area.
Many of the business owners had invested their life savings into their respective businesses, which are now lost.
Had they broken the law? Yes. Was it solely their fault? No.
Rajuk has claimed that they had published notices regarding the eviction drive in newspapers but, contrarily, has also said that there will be a mobile court. Which is it?
Furthermore, many businesses are claiming that they had not received the notice to begin with. Secondly, if the government is intent on an eviction drive, they must ensure that it is following a well-thought-out plan, and not demolishing establishments based on ad hoc judgment calls.
Mayor Sayeed Khokon is correct to point out that hasty, sudden evictions in the city will only exacerbate the situation, and that a problem that has been building up for 40 years cannot be erased in four days.
Much has already been said with regards to the human cost of the eviction drive, which will leave countless in the city unemployed.
This is not the way to go about it. Ample time and planning is needed to ensure that the problem is tackled properly, taking into account fairness and consistency.