In face of obstruction by illegal occupants, an eviction drive to remove illegal structures from railway land in Saidpur municipality was suspended on Tuesday.
It was scheduled to conduct the eviction drive on February 8, but the date was shifted to Tuesday in face of agitation.
Earlier, a strong team, led by Divisional Estate Officer in West Zone (WZ) of Bangladesh Railway (BR) Md Nuruzzaman, made a list of 119 illegal occupiers in Haldar para and railway bazar area of the municipality and started eviction drive around 11:00am on Tuesday.
Before the drive, a notice was served to the occupants 15 days ago and an announcement through loud speakers was made to move to their desired places.
According to railway estate office in west zone, 447 acres of BR land and around 2,200 abandoned rail quarters in Saidpur municipality are under the occupation of influential locals.
On Tuesday morning, when the eviction team accompanied by a large number of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel and railway security staffers went to Halder para area where occupants constructed buildings to use it as residence and business centre, the occupiers and their men encircled them, said the divisional estate officer.
At that time, the officer who was enjoying magistracy power sentenced one Nadim, 28, to seven days' imprisonment for creating obstruction to the drive.
Without demolition of any illegal structure, the team left the area and came to local railway market and faced obstruction by the occupants. The occupiers then sprayed pepper powder on the team.
One of the accused, spice trader Hasinur Rahman, who sprayed pepper powder fled the scene when police went to arrest him. The eviction team later seized several maunds of onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric from Hasinur's shop and sold them in auction at Tk 12,000.
At the time, Ershad Alam Pappu, councilor of ward no 11 in the municipality, came to the scene and repeatedly asked the officer to go to the municipality office and made cellphone call to somewhere to influence the team but the latter refused.
At one stage, the officer suspended the eviction drive around 1:30pm.
On contact, councilor Pappu refused to pressurize the officer and said, "I just requested him to give the victims some days so that they can take preparation to shift."
Railway Divisional Estate Officer Md Nuruzzaman said, "The illegal occupants have been given 15 days to move to their desired places. Otherwise, we will start drive after the deadline."