The High Court yesterday ordered Madaripur district administration to take steps to stop within 24 hours filling of a 200-year-old pond targeted for grabbing.
An HC bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Md Jahangir Hossain passed the order following a primary hearing of a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
Director of environment department, the district commissioner (DC) of Madaripur, superintendent of police (SP), upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and officer-in-charge (OC) of Sadar police station have been asked to comply with the order and submit reports within two weeks.
In a ruling, the court asked the authorities concerned to explain why the earth-filling and a failure to put an end to it should not be declared illegal.
The HRPB filed the petition praying for the HC directives to stop the earth filling, attaching a copy of a newspaper report that said three local leaders of Jubo League and Chhatra League, both pro-Awami League organisations, had been filling up the pond of the district administration to grab it.
The pond, near a police outpost in the municipality area, was being filled up by Saifur Rahman Rubel Khan, former vice president of Madaripur Government Najimuddin College and also nephew of Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan; Jahidul Islam, joint general secretary of the district Jubo League; and Tanvir Mahmud, the district Chhatra League's general secretary, according to the report.
Saifur, Jahidul and Tanvir have been asked to stop the earth-filling and submit a compliance report to the court within two weeks.
The court also asked them to explain why they should not be directed to lift the earth and sand from the pond at their own costs and restore it to its former state.
The trio and senior secretary of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, environment secretary, director general of Department of Environment, its director and assistant director, Madaripur DC, SP and UNO and OC of Sadar police station have been asked to come up with the explanations within four weeks.