Sujanagar police have arrested gardener Iman Ali, so called executive director of the Bridge Handicapped Social Forestry Project and former gardener of the forest department, for felling trees in public without following government rules and regulations in Sujanagar. He was arrested from Bhabanipur in the municipality on Thursday morning.
Last Wednesday, Union Land Assistant Officer (Acting) Mohammad Abu Bakar of Sujanagar Municipal Land Office filed a case accusing Iman Ali, Executive Director of Bridge Disability Social Forestry Project and Gardener of Forest Department (Retired) of illegally felling government road trees.
Sujanagar Police Station OC Abdul Hannan said that according to the information given by the arrested Iman Ali, some acacia trees have been seized.
Police have also launched an operation to rescue other felled trees and if the investigation finds evidence of someone else's involvement in the felling, they will also be brought under the law. The arrested Iman Ali was sent to Pabna court on Thursday afternoon, the OC said.
Earlier in the day, that news was published in Bangladesh Post under the headline "Hundreds of trees are being felled in Sujanagar ignoring rules and regulations". The case was later reported to the Pabna district administration and the upazila administration and a case was filed at the police station on Wednesday.
Hundreds of acacia trees planted along the 8-kilometer government road in some villages of Bhayanna, Satbaria, Dulai and Nazirganj unions of Sujanagar upazila of Pabna district were being felled without following any rules and regulations. In the meantime, in the last one month, Iman Ali has publicly cut down and sold about 6 km of government road trees in Dulai, Tantiband, Nazirganj, Satbaria and Bhayana Union, breaking the name of administration.
The estimated value of the trees is around Tk one crore. Upazila Social Service Officer Nazmul Hasan said that no organization has been registered under the name of Sako Disabled Social Forestry Project. An official of the Forest Department, who did not want to be named, said Iman Ali, a resident of Bhabanipur area of Sujanagar Municipality, had recently retired from the office of the Sirajganj Divisional Forest Officer as his tenure as a gardener had expired. During his tenure, his son Tushar, who is currently working as a lecturer in a college in Narayanganj, was selling these valuable trees in the name of Sako Disability Social Forestry Project using the name of President and Executive Director himself.
According to the relevant sources, trees adjacent to the roads of 1 km from Hemrajpur Mujib Dam to Matpara Beel of Bhanna Union of Sujanagar Upazila, 2 km from Kestpur of the same union to Matiar Beel via Durgapur, 1 km from Mujib Dam of Satbaria Union to Shyamnagar Village 1 km from Mujibang of Nazirganj Union , 1 km from Shantipur of Dulai Union to Kamarpara and 1 km from Chinakhara of the same union to Bagajani and 1 km from Khairan Bridge junction to Kapalipara and Ulat of Manikhat Union became the victim of this illegal act.
The executive director of the organization called Bridge Disability Social Forestry Project felled these valuable trees without any permission.