City corpns begin drives to clear footpath
No ‘political structure’ demolishedMuktadir Rashid
Both the city corporations in Dhaka pulled down a number of illegal structures set up on the footpath in drives they had begun on Monday night but did not demolish a single ruling party office set up on government land.
In keeping with a decision the government made on Monday, the authorities in the drives demolished mainly small, roadside makeshift stalls on the footpath. But not a single structure set up by political parties had been pulled down till Tuesday evening.
The authorities conducted drives in city areas such as Banani, Chawkbazar, Dhanmondi and Gulshan, officials said.
Executive magistrate Sheikh Kamal Hossain, who was with the drives the Dhaka North City Corporation conducted, said that they had begun drives against both political offices set up on government land and other illegal establishments in areas under the jurisdiction of the corporation.
The city corporation conducted a drive on Mohakhali on Monday night amid protests by ruling party leaders when the corporation was pulling down an illegal structure in the Mohakhali level crossing, witnesses said.
Kamal Hossain also led a drive on Tuesday afternoon to clear both sides of the road that links Gulshan Cirlce 1 and Circle 2, demolishing small makeshift stalls.
The Gulshan police officer-in-charge, Rofikul Islam, told New Age on Tuesday evening, ‘The authorities are only demolishing roadside makeshift stalls.’
The government on Monday asked various political organisations to remove their offices illegally set up on footpaths and it also decided to engage both the city corporations of Dhaka and the police to reclaim the encroached footpath.
A number of political offices could be found on the footpath at Banani on Tuesday.
‘The drive mainly cleared the footpaths. But we have not seen offices of any political organisation on the footpath,’ Banani police inspector (investigation) Mainul Islam, who was with the drive on Mohakhali on Monday night, said.
The police, however, left untouched the Juba League office in the Mohakhali level crossing claiming that ‘it is an important evidence’ of the incident in which three Juba League leaders were shot at on Sunday in an alleged infighting.
‘It is the place of occurrence. So we requested the authorities to pull down the office in the interest of further investigation,’ the Banani police officer-in-charge, Bhuiyan Mahboob Hasan, said on Tuesday.
Asked why the police requested the authorities not to pull down the structure when neither the police nor the victims had filed any case even 48 hours after the incident, the Banani police chief told New Age, ‘The structure is an evidence that could be required for investigation.’
The office of the Banani unit Juba League besides Ban Bhaban at Mohakhali was also left untouched by the authorities who conducted the drive on Tuesday.
About 1:00pm on Tuesday, some activists Juba League activists were discussing inside the office the preparations for the organisation’s conference scheduled for July 8.
On May 28, some activists from the office attacked journalists of bdnews24.com.
Illegal establishments could also be found on footpath beside the Police Staff College at Mirpur where the portraits of the country’s first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his daughter, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, were hung in front of the doors.
The city corporation authorities pulled down an illegally set market at Chawkbazar while the businessmen claimed that the drive was conducted without them being given any notice, witnesses said.
The Dhaka South City Corporation
Executive magistrate Md Billal Hossain, who was with the drive conducted by the Dhaka South City Corporation, claimed that ‘the decision was made earlier.’
He said that they would launch another drive soon to pull illegal structures on the footpaths and government land.
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