One year has passed since the attack on Narayanganj city Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy over evicting illegal hawkers from footpaths, but the committee formed to investigate it yet to submit its report.
Moreover, there is no certainty when it might be completed as a member of the committee has been transferred.
A three-member probe body, which was formed on January 17, 2018, a day after the attack, was supposed to submit a report within seven working days. The deadline has been deferred four times.
The committee's chief, Narayanganj Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Jasim Uddin Haider said it is uncertain when they would be able to submit the probe report.
Other committee members were: then additional superintendent of police of the district Mostafizur Rahman, and Rab-11 assistant director (ASP) Babul Akhter.
“When we were at the final stage of the investigation, Mustafizur Rahman was promoted to SP and transferred to another district. It has slowed down our investigation process,” said Jasim Uddin.
“Nothing can be said about submission of the probe report until the committee is reconstituted,” he told The Daily Star.
Replying to a question, he said the deputy commissioner (DC) of the district has the jurisdiction to reform the probe committee.
However, this correspondent could not reach DC Rabbi Miah despite repeated attempts. He did not even respond to an SMS sent by the reporter.
On December 25, 2017, the city corporation launched a drive to clear the footpaths.
Soon afterwards, the hawkers started a continuous movement to persuade the city corporation to reconsider the decision. But, Ivy said she would not bow down to the demand as “footpaths belong to people”.
But Lawmaker Shamim Osman took a stance against the mayor's decision. Things took a violent turn on January 16 during Ivy's procession to free the footpaths. Osman's supporters attacked Ivy and her followers, leading to a clash on Bangabandhu Road in the city's Chashara area.
The entire area turned into a battlefield. During the skirmish, Ivy and around 50 others were injured.
After the clash, the footpaths remained free from hawkers due to vigorous drives by law enforcers for the next couple of months. But later, hawkers started sitting on footpaths due to relaxation of action.
Contacted, Superintendent of Police in Narayanganj Harun-ur-Rashid said, “The Chashara intersection has already been freed from hawkers. Other footpaths will also be cleared in phases. People will walk on the pavements. These cannot be occupied by hawkers. We will maintain zero tolerance policy on this matter.”
When contacted, Mayor Ivy refused to comment over the issue.