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State minister: Religious institutions on riversides not to be removed

  • Published at 07:01 pm February 19th, 2020
illegal-structures-Karnaphuli-River
File photo: Chittagong District Administration demolishes illegal structures along the bank of Karnaphuli River on Tuesday; February 5, 2019 Focus Bangla

There are 113 illegal educational & religious centres on the banks of Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakshya rivers

State Minister for Shipping, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that the government will not remove the riverside religious institutions in the immediate vicinity of Dhaka, however, there will be some changes in an effort to set things right. 

He made the statement in a meeting at the Secretariat in Dhaka yesterday over the restoration of religious institutions and other establishments across the river banks.

Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said: "Religious institutions are not being abolished, however, efforts are underway for better coordination and finding solutions."

"The government has decided to establish some 560 Model Mosques across the country."  

File photo: State Minister of Shipping Ministry Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury exchanges views with the officials of the ministry at the Secretariat on Thursday, Jan 10, 2019 | UNBThe junior minister also said: " The riverside religious institutions have links with our sentiment. In order to strike an ideal reconciliation with these centres, I have discussed this issue with Islamic scholars and theologians; Alem, Ulama, Masaykh — who advocate religion and preach its values."

"Upon their recommendations, we have decided not to close down the religious institutions. By tradition, Dhaka is a city of mosques and we want to preserve that  tradition," he said. 

Shipping Ministry Senior Secretary Mohammad Abdus Samad, Religious Affairs Secretary Nurul Islam, Islamic Foundation Director General Anis Mahmud, Local Government Division Additional Secretary Kazi Ashraf Uddin and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq were present at the meeting.

Shipping ministry sources said there are an estimated 113 unauthorized educational and religious institutions on the banks of river Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakshya.

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