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Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park : Land rights platform demands resettlement of evicted residents

  • Published at 09:11 pm July 26th, 2019
Kishoreganj Hi-tech park
An illustration of the Kishoreganj hi-tech park Collected

The platform made this demand at a press briefing at held at the National Press Club in Dhaka

The Life and Nature Safeguard Platform on Friday demanded the resettlement of people evicted from their lands that are being acquired for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park in Rajshahi.

The platform made this demand at a press briefing at held at the National Press Club in Dhaka.

Presenting the keynote paper at the briefing, coordinator of the platform, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, said the government has acquired 31 acres of land in Rajshahi to build the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park. 

"Due to this, residents of the area have been evicted. According to locals, there are around 1,200 families in this area, of whom, only 600 families were compensated with Tk50,000-Tk70,000," said Jyotirmoy.

He stated that some of these locals had been living there for 15 years, and they had also applied to get the land registered in their names, which was denied. 

"Furthermore, the government evicted these people between December 2017 and January 2018, without rehabilitating them—which is illegal."

Jyotirmoy Barua explained that the government did not conduct any survey on the immovable property of these people before eviction and did not compensate them, adding: "They [the government] violated the sections 4(3), 9(1), 12, 15 and 17 of the Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Ordinance, 1982.”

The activist recounted the story of one such landless victim, Sree Ponob Shaha, who lived for 14 years on 6,840 sq feet of land that he had bought from Md Azhar for Tk70,000. 

But then, about a year ago, the deputy commissioner's office announced that he had to vacate the land, and paid Tk70,000—the price of the land 14 years ago. 

Another victim, Jahangir Alam, lost 8.08 acres of land and 50 mango trees but did not get any compensation. "He is currently fighting in court to get what he is owed," Jyotirmoy said, adding: “Most of these victims do not file cases because they do not have the financial ability to do so."

The platform demanded providing compensation to the victims, to ensure education of their children, to ensure their treatment, and for the government to perform its administrative tasks with transparency.

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