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Industrialists‘grab’ Khas land

Published : 17 Mar 2021 10:08 PM

Group of companies and industrialists have allegedly occupied almost 3,000 acres of Khas land in Sonargoan upazila of Narayanganj.

Recently in February this year, two people were killed in a rival clash over sand filling of a low land occupied by an industry.

Most of the biggest group of companies in Sonargaon upazila forcibly occupied the government’s Khas land as well as innocent and poor people’s land to set up their industries there, locals alleged. 

Former Sonargaon Upazila Assistant Commissioner (AC Land) Al-Mamun has confirmed it to Bangladesh Post that most of the major companies grabbed more or less portion of government Khas land and constructed their factories there. Current AC (Land) Golam Mostofa admitted the statistics.

According to official information and the sufferers’ voice, the Madina, Al-Mostofa, Shahjalal, Hamdard, Fresh and Chaity group of industries owners grabbed both Khas and poor people’s land by force using local influential and hoodlums. Sonargaon Upazila Land Office confirmed that 2,904.83 acres of Khas land was officially recorded in the area.

Of that, Madina group grabbed 4.39 acres and established various industries including cement factories on that land. Narayanganj district and Sonargaon upazila administration jointly conducted an eviction drive led by Sonargaon (AC Land) on November 1 in 2020, to bulldoze an industry built by Madina Group on a Khas land. A portion of the grabbed land was recovered during the eviction drive. 

However, they need more powerful bulldozer to demolish the structures and recover the remaining parts of the land as the industry set up on the land is a heavy construction. The administration is currently procuring more powerful equipment for bulldozing heavy construction and later, they will conduct a massive drive in this regard.

The AC (Land) said that he issued a notice in June, 2020 to the Al-Mostafa group of companies to remove their establishments from the Khas land. After receiving the notice, the company had filed a writ petition to the High Court challenging the notice. A victim of the illegal grabbing, Dulal Hossain complained that his land was forcibly occupied by the Fresh Group of Company but he could not raise any voice or protest against the company in fear of harassment by their hired local goons. 

He also alleged that all the above-mentioned companies are setting up their industries grabbing the poor people’s land or purchasing it by paying half price. The AC (Land) told Bangladesh Post that a decision will come from the ministry and then we will carry out the order properly. When tried to contact Madina Group of Industries, Imran Sheikh, Sales Administrative Officer of Madina Group refused to talk about the matter and told this correspondent, “If you want to know about any legal or land-related papers you have to contact our head office, located at central road in Dhaka”.