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Thursday, October 16, 2008
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Sculptures near ZIA removed after protests

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) were forced to remove five sculptures of Bauls (folk singers) including Lalon Shah in front of the Zia International Airport in the face of protests from an Islamist group.

Sculptor Mrinal Haque told reporters that almost 50 percent task of the Tk 1crore project had been finished at a cost of around Tk 50 lakh.

Two of the five sculptures had been removed by yesterday evening while the rest was to be removed by midnight, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the Airport Police Station Sirajul Islam told the Daily Star.

He said the erection of the sculptures began about a month ago.

Earlier, Murti Protirodh Committee (Sculpture Prevention Committee) led by Khatme Nabuat Chairman Mufti Nur Hossain Nurani gave an ultimatum of 24 hours for removal of the sculptures.

Witnesses said around 2,000 people gathered in the area when the task of removing the sculptures began at about 11:00am.

The OC quoting the committee leaders said they do not want any sculptures in the airport area where the hajj camp is located.

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