Condemning Friday's vandalism of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club at the capital's Dhanmondi-8 playground premises, green activists today demanded punitive action against perpetrators involved with the incident.
A vested group has been plotting against the green activists who have been trying to protect the playground from grabbers, they alleged at a press conference at Ramesh Chandra Dutta auditorium of Chhayanat Sangskriti Bhaban in Dhanmondi this morning.
Iqbal Habib, joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa), said the vested group carried out the attack and put up banners on the railing of the playground Saturday in favour of the environmentalists to “foil” their ongoing movement.
“One of the banners names “Engr Mobassher” but he is an architect by profession,” Habib said adding that they had never staged any protests under the platform of “Environmentalists”.
Former president of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) Mobassher Hossain said, “We protest any subversive activity as no plot could halt our movement to free Dhanmondi playground.”
Among others, Quamrunnahar Dana, general secretary of Bangladesh Women's Spots Association, and Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, former captain of Bangladesh national cricket team, were present at the press conference.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka court today granted bail to green activist Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, who was detained while trying to bring down the banners yesterday morning, after Dhanmondi police produced him before it with a 10-day remand prayer.
Earlier on Friday night, a mystery attack by unidentified miscreants defaced the portrait of Sheikh Jamal and vandalised the guardroom of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club.
The portrait at the entrance to the field was stained with black ink while window panes of the guardroom were vandalised.
A banner was also found there which read, “Thanks to Engr Mobassher, Iqbal bhai, Dana apa, Salma apa for protecting the playground from the clutches of illegal government and Sheikh family and opening it to the public.”
The club authorities filed a case against 35 unidentified people on Friday night in connection with the incident.
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, a limited company, has been illegally occupying the playground for the last few years.
The High Court in 2011 had ordered the then Dhaka City Corporation, police and public works ministry to open the field to public and remove all illegal structures from there.
On April 18 this year, the club sued three eminent green activists Mobassher Hossain, Iqbal Habib, architect Salma A Shafi and national award winner sports organiser Quamrunnahar Dana for entering into the playground.
However, on April 24, the Dhaka South City Corporation opened the playground to public.