At least two land office employees of Roumari Sadar union and Roumari upazila in Kurigram have been accused of helping some people illegally occupy a piece of land that belongs to Jadurchar Union Parishad of the upazila.
Sarbesh Ali, the chairman of the union parishad (UP), in a written complaint submitted to the deputy commissioner (DC) of Kurigram, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Roumari and various other departments concerned, made the allegation against the two and seven others.
In a general diary filed earlier with Roumari Police Station, the UP chairman had anticipated that attempts might be made to illegally occupy the same land, which is part of a pond owned by the union parishad.
I his written allegation sent out to the authorities, Sarbesh Ali said in the wee hours on April 5 (Monday), the seven people with the connivance of the two land office employees -- Land Assistant Officer (Tahashildar) Shahadat Hossain of Roumari Sadar union and Land Surveyor Abdul Awal of Roumari upazila -- forcibly built four houses with corrugated iron sheets, on around 30 decimals of land of the pond.
The intruders overpowered the members of Village Defence Party (VDP) on duty at the site that night and drove them away, said Sona Miah, a member of VDP.
They immediately reported the incident to the UP chairman, he added.
The UP chairman, Sarbesh Ali, said he informed the DC and UNO of the incident the next day (April 6).
"I've come to learn that the two land employees received bribe money and illegally handed over the land [owned by the UP] to some people in the name of allocating government land to the landless, without proper survey and verification."
One of the occupants, Mosharraf Hossain, claimed that he was a genuine landless and he had received necessary land allocation documentation from the government before building the house by the pond.
However, he refused to make any comment when asked whether he made any payment to the land employees for the allocation of the land.
Denying any monetary exchange taken place in exchange for the allocation of land, accused surveyor Abdul Awal said genuine landless people were allocated the land as it is demarcated as Khas land of the government.
Another accused, Land Assistant Officer Shahadat Hossain, said they adhered to government rules properly while allocating the land to the landless and the accusation made by the UP chairman was false and baseless.
Contacted, Roumari UNO Al Imran said the allocation of the land will be revoked if it is found to be illegal during investigation and due action will be taken accordingly against the ones involved.