Vol. 5 Num 946 Fri. January 26, 2007  
Front Page

Demolition drive goes on
4 injured in clash in Ctg during eviction

An eviction team of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) yesterday partially knocked down two mosques and a madrasa and demolished more than 1,000 shanties at Bhasantek and at Kalsi Road in Mirpur.

In Chittagong, at least four people were wounded when illegal occupants clashed with police yesterday during an eviction drive for recovering vast government land in the city, reports our staff correspondent there.

The DCC workers pulled down the illegal structures on Mirpur-Bhasantek road with two bulldozers during the four-hour drive in presence of the army and the police.

"We knocked down those structures to widen the road to 120 feet," magistrate Kamal Pasha, who led the eviction team, said. The illegal structures had narrowed the road, he added.

Some roadside shops and a kitchen market were also demolished during the drive in the morning.

"We first asked them to vacate the land and many did so," Pasha said.

After cleaning up the Bhasantek area, the team went to Mirpur Kalsi Road near the journalist colony and tore down the wall of another two-storeyed mosque there.

"We had to knock down the mosque and boundary wall of a graveyard also as those were creating obstacle to widening the road," the magistrate said.

Meanwhile, The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) authorities pulled down several illegal establishments in Gulshan during a separate drive yesterday, Rajuk sources said. Magistrate Emdadud Dastagir led the eviction team.

At least four people were injured when illegal land occupiers clashed with police during an eviction drive in the city's Shantinagar area under Bayazid Bostami Police Station.

The injured, Jamal, Amir Hossain, Saiful and Saidur Rahman, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH).

Sources said a team of district administration with a 150-strong force led by Magistrate Matiul Islam launched the eviction drive in the area at around 10:30am to recover grabbed government lands.

The situation turned explosive at around 12:30pm when hundreds of encroachers with brickbats and sticks put up a strong resistance to the eviction team.

The magistrate ordered police to fire tear gas shells and blank shots to disperse the mob after police failed to control the situation by clubbing them. Shots were fired from the mob as well, witnesses said.

No one was bullet-hit during the hour-long clash. Both sides traded at least 250 shots, they added.

Magistrate Matiul said police alone fired around 200 blank shots. "The drive will continue until all illegal occupants or habitants on the land are evicted."

Sources in the administration said thousands of encroachers had long been occupying a 26-acre government land. The grabbers even formed a cooperative society there to establish their authority on the land.

A total of 29 cases have so far been lodged by both the administration and the encroachers over the 'disputed' land, the sources added.

The joint forces of army and police and the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) demolished over 200 illegal shops, houses, workshops and garages on both sides of the Chandpur-Comilla road yesterday.

Starting from Chandpur bus stand, the drive was conducted on a stretch of 10 kilometres up to Mohamaya Bazar.

Workers of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha tear down an Awami Jubo League office at Gulshan-2 in the capital yesterday as part of the ongoing drive to demolish illegal structures. PHOTO: STAR