The landless people are in trouble by buying the char of the Gorai river from Awami League (AL) leaders and activists in Kushtia Sadar Upazila. The victims have demanded exemplary punishment for those involved.
It was known that the influential groups have sold the land on the left bank of the Gorai river to the landless at Shaldah Mouja of Hatash Haripur union of the upazila. Many of them are involved in the politics of AL and its associate organizations. Some are relatives of public representatives. The upazila administration carried out an eviction drive to free these places of the river from encroachment. The landless are in dire straits.
Jesmin Khatun, one of the victims, said, "I took three katha of land on the river bank by paying Tk 30,000 to the local former UP member Nedai member. I picked up the installment and took the house. The house was evicted through an eviction drive. Like me, many people have taken char land in exchange for money. I want my money back. I want justice for those who took money from me."
Manik's wife Meghla Khatun said, "I gave 2.5 katha of land from Johnny, son-in-law of Haripur Union Chairman, for Tk 55,000. Johnny's home is in Amlapara. We are poor people. I took the land with a lot of difficulty for Tk 55,000. I took the installment from the association and made a house. The administration has evicted it. We want the money back. At the same time, we demand punishment for the fraudsters."
Hatash Haripur UP Chairman M Mushtaq Hossain Masud said that a gang has sold these government lands by stealing crore of taka using political influence. I have made several appeals to the administration seeking redress by making specific allegations about the people involved. But there was no remedy.
Nedai member denied the allegations and said, "I have not taken money from anyone."
Regarding this matter, Johnny said that he is not ready to talk about it.
Kushtia Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Partha Pratim Sheel led the eviction drive on Tuesday. Assistant Commissioner (Land) Dabir Uddin and members of law enforcement agencies were present on the occasion.
Sadar Upazila (Land) Commissioner Dabir Uddin said the government is providing houses for the homeless people. If they want, they can apply for a house from the government. Besides, if anyone is sitting on these government lands in exchange for money, legal action will be taken if a written complaint is received about it.
Kushtia Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Partha Pratim Sheel said there is no scope to illegally occupy government property. Legal action will be taken against those involved in the occupation.