A group of musclemen, allegedly aided by a couple of upazila officials, tried to occupy the landed property of a Hindu family on T&T Road in Rajapur upazila under the district on Monday afternoon.
"A group of 25 to 30 men led by local influential people Shipon and Kabir came to our house along with Md Saiful Islam, surveyor of Rajapur land office, claiming that they would survey the land as Shipon and Kabir have taken it from the government as vested property," said Amio Bala, who inherited the land from her late husband Nimai Mistry.
"Shipon and Kabir quickly erected an enclosure with bamboo and barbed wire with the help of his men," said Amio, residing at the house with her son Animesh Mistry.
"Hearing the matter, I with a police team went to the spot and stopped the work of the grabbers. Five policemen have been deployed there,” said SI Atiqur Rahman of Rajapur police station.
"Surprisingly, when I was going to the spot, the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Rajapur phoned me and said that Amio Bala has no right on the land," he added.
In the same evening, police instructed by Nazrul Islam, officer in charge of Rajapur police station, removed the enclosure from the land.
“My forefathers owned and lived on the land for centuries,” said Animesh Mistry.
"Six months ago, we were surprised to hear that our land was declared as a vested property. Afterwards, I filed two cases with Jhalakathi district office against the declaration. I with my son want to stay at my husband's land,” said Amio Bala weeping, showing signs of feeling of insecurity.
“The land belonged to Nimai family for generations. We don't understand how it could be vested property,” said Chitto Ranjan Mojumder, the president of the minority community association in the upazila.
Echoing the same, a neighbour of the family said, Shipon and Kabir spent a lot of money to grab the land.
Asked about the matter, Shipon, showing a letter singed by the UNO, said that her wife has leased the land and they made the enclosure according to the settlement of the surveyor.
Md Saiful Islam, the surveyor, said he only carried out the order of the UNO.
Contacted over phone, Rajapur UNO Mahabuba Aktar told this correspondent, "I talked to the SI over phone for sending both the parties to us. I don't know whether the land belongs to the minority people."
Asked whether she issued a letter signed by her and sent the surveyor to the land for the purpose mentioned, she evaded direct reply and said, "I cannot say anything without seeing the documents."