Rabindra Kuthibari at Shilaidaha in Kumarkhali upazila of Kushtia, Photo: Star
The local administration yesterday removed the illegal structures on around six acres of land in front of Shilaidaha Kuthibari in Kumarkhali upazila under the district.
The land in front of the Kuthibari, a reminiscent of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, has been freed as the High Court recently issued an order, asking the authorities concerned to evict the illegal occupiers from there.
Offices of two NGOs, three houses and thirty shops were dismantled during the drive conducted with the help of five platoons of police, one platoon of Rapid Action Battalion and around five hundred workers, said Sohel Reza, additional police superintendent of Kushtia.
Manjur Rahman, joint secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Amiruzzaman, director of Archaeology Department, Khulna Zone, and Syed Belal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Kushtia, were present during the drive.
According to sources, the men of local influential person Alauddin Ahmed bought the lands in front of the Kuthibari in 1998-99 and started erecting a tourist complex there.
Illegal structures demolished by local administration on six acres of land in front of Tagore's lodge yesterday following a High Court order. Photo: Star
Different newspapers and electronic media ran reports on the matter, prompting protest from the admirers of Rabindranath.
Cultural activists led by Dr Sanjida Khatun started movement in Dhaka.
Consequently, the government acquired the six acres of land adjacent to the Kuthibari.
The purchasers of the land filed a case against the move in 2000.
After litigation for years, the High Court recently dismissed the case and asked the authorities concerned to recover the land.
A research centre and library and a guesthouse will be built on the land, said Manjur Rahman, joint secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.