• Monday, Nov 18, 2019
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Forestland grabbed in Gazipur

  • Published at 01:02 am October 16th, 2019
Gzaipu forest land
Illegal establishments being built occupying forest land in Gazipur Dhaka Tribune

The family of  Shamsul Haque, son of Abdul Helim from Beraiderchala under Sreepur municipality, occupied the land many years ago, and are procrastinating to leave the lands

Land grabbers have occupied at least 4.6 acres, worth about Tk 13 crore, of forest land under the Sreepur Forest Department in Gazipur. Houses, ponds, business establishments, and schools were made on the grabbed land of the forest in Beraiderchala area beside the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway.

The family of  Shamsul Haque, son of Abdul Helim from Beraiderchala under Sreepur municipality, occupied the land many years ago, and are procrastinating to leave the lands. The situation remains unchanged even after the court declared its verdict in favour of the forest department, after a  case was filed by the grabbers claiming ownership. 

After the verdict, SM Abul Kalam Azad, brother of Samsul Haque, sent a letter  to the Dhaka Forest Department to take back the grabbed land, as disputes regarding the land kept occurring  regularly among their family members.

On the other hand, Sreepur Forest Department remains indifferent to recover the land from the grabbers. According to the locals, Shahin, son of Shamsul Haque built five houses, made ponds, also a school in the grabbed lands.  Moreover, when contacted, Samsul Haque said: “We are using the land as our ancestors had livedhere.”

However, he could not provide name of the legal owner when he was asked about the ownership of the land. Anisul Haque, Sreepur forest range officer, said: “We will try to recover the grabbed land and hand it over to the forest department.’’ Mohammad Selim, forest beat officer, told the reporter that they have already taken steps to recover the grabbed land from the grabbers, after scrutinizing the papers.

Mohamamd Yusuf, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Dhaka, said: We received a letter, seeking recovery of the Sreepur forest lands, from a member of the land grabbers family.  Sreepur forest range officer and beat officer were told  to submit a report regarding the matter.’’