Railway authorities in Narayanganj yesterday evicted around 500 shops, which were built illegally occupying Railway’s land in the town, although a restaurant and 10 shops owned by a local Awami League leader remained untouched.
Locals alleged that Railway authorities were favouring the AL men, who denied the allegations and said he constructed the structures by taking lease from proper authorities.
Railway authorities started the eviction drive around 11am in Rail Gate 2 area.
At one stage, they tried to evict a restaurant titled “Monir Hotel” and 10 adjacent shops, which are owned by Moniruzzaman Monir, general secretary of word-2 unit of AL under Narayanganj City Corporation.
At the time, Narayanganj city unit AL president Anwar Hossain, along with his supporters, came to the spot and requested Railway officials not to dismantle the restaurants and shops. Finally, railway officials stepped back and gave Moniruzzaman three days to remove the structures.
However, railway authorities did not give such opportunity to others.
“He [Monir] is an AL leader. That is why, he has got the chance. But we are commoners. So, our shops have been demolished,” said a small trader whose shops were taken down.
Contacted, Moniruzzaman said, “I did not construct any structure illegally. Rather, I took lease of the land from the railway authorities.”
Contacted, Nazrul Islam, divisional estate officer of Dhaka railway, said owner of a few structures -- which needed to be evicted partially -- were given a deadline. “We’ll demolish the structures if he fails to remove those on time,” added Nazrul.