DINAJPUR, Mar 20: A ruling party leader and local union parishad (UP) chairman has grabbed around three acres of land by setting up a signboard on it titled 'Bangabandhu Juba Unnayan Club' in Punotty union under Chirirbandar upazila of the district.
Locals said, they have been cultivating the land for years but around one month ago Organising Secretary of upazila Awami League and Chairman of Punotty UP Nur-e-Kalam has set up a temporary structure on the land and is threatening people whoever wants to till the land.
Meanwhile, the land is being looked after by father-in-law of the Chairman Mojahar Hossen, Tajul Islam, Tayebur Rahman and others.
While visiting the area, on the bank of the Bhelamoti River, a temporary shed has been erected on the disputed land and signboard titled 'Bangabandhu Juba Unnayan Club' is hanging on the same place.
In this connection, one Abdul Jabbar said, "I have been tilling 74 decimals of land of the total grabbed three acres of land since the-then Pakistani regime. I have also been paying all taxes and other costs of the land. Recently I went to different government offices seeking lease of the land. After the knowing it as a government khas land, the men of the chairman has grabbed it and put the signboard."
Besides, the chairman and his men have been found guilty of grabbing lands in other areas also.
Abu Taher of Nadir Dola village said, "Recently the father-in-law of the chairman Mojahar Hossen has tried to grab two decimals of land in front of my house. But as I resisted, they forcefully broke the hedge of my house and grabbed the land. Besides, they are threatening to oust us from the area. So, I could not lodge complaints with the police station fearing their assault."
Another resident Abdul Hannan said, "There was an attempt also to grab the land of my house. But, I along with my sons and neighbours resisted the attempt. Meanwhile, the chairman did not let me to connect my house with electricity through illegal influence."
Member of Punotty UP Abdul Ohab said, "I was considering to solve the matter as a public representative, but the chairman and his men have occupied the land."
While asked, Chairman of Punotty UP Nur-e-Kalam said, "I am a ruling party man. I do things in my consideration. The name of the club will be changed." He, however, denied the allegations brought against him.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Chirirbandar Police Station Anisur Rahman said, "We are yet to get any complaint in this connection. But, the chairman informed me that there were some problems regarding the road. I heard that he solved the matter locally."