BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed was evicted from the residence at Gulshan Avenue in Dhaka where he has been staying for more than three decades.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) started the eviction drive at the house this noon and took its control after the former law minister lost a long legal battle over the ownership of the residence, worth over Tk 300 crore.
The eviction drive came three days after the Supreme Court verdict that ordered the authorities to mutate the Gulshan land and residence.
“Pursuant to the highest court’s verdict, we are vacating the house and taking control of it,” Waliur Rahman, zonal director of Rajuk, told The Daily Star. The house is on one bigha and 13 katha lands, the Rajuk official said.
Terming the drive "unlawful and unethical", Moudud told The Daily Star that they have started the drive at his house without any prior notice.
"This is not a government property, still the government is desperate to evict me from my house," he said, adding that there is no court order for the eviction drive.
Before starting the drive, a huge number of law enforcers were deployed around the house. Water cannon, prison van and bulldozer were seen parked outside the residence. Two trucks were also there to carry the goods of the house. Rajuk officials were present during the whole drive.
Policemen assisted Rajuk officials in the eviction drive, said SM Mustaque Ahmed, deputy commissioner of Gulshan Division, DMP.
Around 2:45pm, labours started loading the trucks with goods but none of the family members of Moudud was seen during the drive. When the drive started around 12:30pm, Moudud was in the court. He reached there at 3:00pm.
An example of vengeance: Moudud
Pointing finger to the Rajuk officials, aggrieved Moudud said, "It is a sign that there is no rule of law in the country."
Then talking to the newsmen, he said, “It is an example of vengeance. The court did not say anything about eviction and Rajuk also did not serve me any notice to leave the house. As I do politics of opposition party, I was evicted from the house. If it is a ruling party man, situation would be different.”
When asked about his next move, the former minister said, "I have no other option except lying on the street. I do not know where my furniture’s will be taken off."
READ MORE: I’ll take shelter on street: Moudud
Meanwhile, Moudud’s junior associate Ehsanur Rahman said, “The furniture are taken to Moudud’s flat at Gulshan-2 and some furniture will be taken to one of his relative’s house.”
‘It’s Rajuk property’
Talking to journalists, Rajuk Zonal Director Waliur Rahman said, “It is a Rajuk’s property. They (Moudud) kept the property in their possession for a long time. Court gave verdict in favour of us.”
When asked about Moudud’s claim that there was notice to leave the house, Waliur said, “This is our property. Court gave the verdict. So why should we serve notice?”
He also said, “The house will be under lock and key. We’ve taken steps to send the properties wherever he wishes.”
Khaleda visits Moudud
Meanwhile, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia this evening visited her party leader Moudud after the eviction.
Khaleda went in front of the house after Iftar.
“She [Khaleda] reached there around 8.00pm,” Syrul Kabir Khan, Khaleda’s press wing official, told The Daily Star.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul islam Alamgir, Vice-chairman Khandakar Mahbub Hossain, Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Joint Secretary General Mahbubuddin Khokon were also present.
Later, Moudud briefed the BNP chief about the whole eviction process.
“Eviction of Moudud from his house is tantamount to a militant behaviour. Without any notice, an organiser of the liberation war, language movement hero and a senior lawyer was evicted from his house. I have no word to condemn such behaviour,” Fakhrul told reporters.
Earlier at 4:00pm, BNP standing committee member Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain visited the spot. He told journalists, “We do not know about the legal aspects. We know that he was there and he was ousted from there.”
On Sunday, the apex court dismissed three petitions filed seeking review of its verdict scrapping a High Court judgment that ordered the authorities to mutate the Gulshan land and residence.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on December 17, 2013, lodged a case with Gulshan Police Station against Moudud and his brother Monzur on the charge of grabbing the "abandoned public land".
According to the case statement, Moudud and his brother grabbed the land of around one bigha and 13 kathas between 1978 and 2006.
The land was enlisted as the government's abandoned land in 1972 after Pakistani couple Mohammad Ehsan and Inge Maria Flatz left the country before 1972.
Ehsan received the possession of the land in 1961 from now-defunct DIT [now Rajuk]. The land was transferred to Flatz in 1965.
Moudud falsely showed that Flatz issued a power of attorney in favour of him on August 2, 1973.
Moudud grabbed the land and its establishment, and started living there showing him as a tenant of Flatz. But the ACC investigation found no record that says she visited Bangladesh after the independence of the country.
Moudud is facing five corruption cases and a money laundering case now, said Anti-Corruption Commission’s lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan.