The eviction drive in a slum in Rasulpur area on the bank of the Kirtankhola River in Barisal was foiled by the slum dwellers yesterday.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), who owned the land, started the drive against 211 shanties and some shops around 11:00am as per the direction of High Court, said Nazmul Ahsan Khan, assistant Commissioner (Land), Barisal Sadar Upazila.
“Though we sent a notice to the slum dwellers a month ago to remove the structures from the area, most of the shanties were still there. That is why we launched the drive,” he added.
The eviction drive was forced to stop within half an hour, as the residents of the slum became violent, said Mustafizur Rahman, Barisal River Port officer.
“Now, we have called a meeting with local councillor, influentials and residents of the area to solve the problem and resume the postponed drive,” Nazmul added.
However, Abdullah Al Kabir Dhali, a leader of Rasulpur slum people, said following the court order they were voluntarily trying to remove the structures 40 feet away from the river bank.
But, BIWTA and the land officials after negotiating with influential started the eviction drive only against the poor slum dwellers, he said.
The brick-built structures of the area remained safe, he added.
At least eight people, including four females, were injured, as the police charged batons on them during the protest, claimed Dhali.