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Stop tree felling at Suhrawardy Udyan until May 20: HC

Published : Wednesday, 12 May, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 732

The High Court (HC) on Tuesday issued a verbal order to halt tree felling at Suhrawardy Udyan until May 20.
The court set May 20 for hearing a contempt of court petition filed against
Secretary of Liberation War Affairs  Ministry Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Public Works Department Chief Engineer Md Shamim Akhter and Chief of Architects Mir Manzur Rahman for felling trees at the udyan, ignoring the HC directive delivered on July 7 in 2009.
The High Court asked Attorney General AM Amin Uddin to take necessary steps so that no trees at Suhrawardy Udyan are felled till May 20.
The HC bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman fixed the date after attorney general AM Amin Uddin sought time for the hearing.
Lawyer Manzill Murshid appeared for the contempt of court petitioners during the hearing.
The contempt petition against the three government officials was filed on May 9 amid the ongoing protests to protect the Suhrawardy Udyan from encroachment by people as the government planned to construct a restaurant and a road by felling several trees as the symbol of the liberation war stands there.
Two Supreme Court lawyers--Mahbubul Islam and Ripan Barai-- filed the contempt of court petition with the HC.
On the same day, six environmental organisations, including Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) and an individual, filed a writ petition with the HC, challenging the tree felling at Suhrawardy Udyan. The writ petition is now pending with another HC bench.
Following a writ petition filed on July 7 in 2009, The HC directed the government to identify and preserve all the important historical places related to the Liberation War and set up memorial monuments at the historic sites at Suhrawardy Udyan. The memorial monuments maintained international standards so people from home and abroad can pay homage to the martyred freedom fighters.
The HC had ordered the government to protect and maintain the historic places at Suhrawardy Udyan, where Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his historic March 7 speech in 1971 and where the Pakistani army surrendered on December 16 in 1971.

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