Vol. 5 Num 625 Thu. March 02, 2006  

BNP office being set up on AL leader's land in Barisal

A move to construct BNP office on the land of a senior Awami League (AL) leader dismayed locals and sparked protest from his family members and party leaders.

The land selected for setting up BNP upazila office belongs to Barisal district AL secretary and former whip of Jatiya Sangsad Abul Hasanat Abdullah. BNP men dumped construction materials at the site on Barisal-Dhaka Highway near Gournadi bus stand and started work on Monday.

Family members and party leaders claimed that the land is the paternal property of Hasanat.

Barisal district AL office secretary and Bar Association president Advocate Talukdar Muhammad Yunus told this correspondent that Hasanat's father late Abdur Rob Serniabat, the then minister purchased the land from Krishnakanta, Shamayal, Vasharam and Shangkar in 1975.

After the changeover of government and the tragic incident in 1975, Hasanat's family members left the country. The then government took possession of the land declaring it a vested property. However, the land was returned to Serniabat's successor Hasnat in 2001.

But, Gournadi Pourasabha BNP president Hannan Sharif claimed that 25 decimals of land on the plot is owned by the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) as per to the Land Revenue Department's official records.

He said, the site for the upazila BNP office was selected following submission of a prayer to the authorities concerned for lease of the land.

Gournadi upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Mahfuzur Rahman Saturday said he ordered stoppage of the work. He said he had visited the 'disputed' land after receiving an objection from Hasanat's family members.

"If Hasanat's family members can show necessary documents and prove ownership then nobody can construct any structure on the land without his consent and permission", he said.

Despite his assurance the construction work began just two days later, on Monday.

Locals said the land was handed over to Serniabat's family on condition of using it for social welfare, not for 'personal' gains.

Even if the RHD owned the land then how can a party be allowed to use it for political purpose, they questioned.

Bricks and sand for building an office of ruling BNP on the land owned by Awami League leader Abul Hasnat Abdullah in Gournadi in Barisal. PHOTO: STAR