Influential locals attack mobile court personnel
An executive magistrate and at least four police personnel were injured after influential locals attacked a mobile court team on their way back after eviction at Sitakunda upazila of Chattogram yesterday afternoon.
The incident took place at Jungle Salimpur under Salimpur union of the upazila, said police sources. During the incident, a car of private TV channel '71 TV' was vandalised by the mob.
Injured Omar Faruk, Assistant Commissioner (AC-Land) of Kattali Circle, received primary treatment from a hospital, reports our Chattogram correspondent.
1256 acres of Sitakunda Khas land are in Jungle Salimpur, where several land grabber syndicates have established their own 'kingdom,' setting up illegal settlements with illegal electricity and other utility lines, said district administration and Department of Environment officials.
Plaban Kumar Biswas, Staff Officer of Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram, said Omar Faruk led a team of police and Ansar members in conducting a mobile court to evict those illegal establishments and demolished nearly 100 establishments during the drive.
Chattogram district Additional Superintendent of Police Abu Tayeb Md Arif told The Daily Star, "While returning from the eviction site, members of the local Yasin Bahini, the mastermind of the land grabbers, began pelting bricks from the top of the mount, injuring the magistrate and policemen."
Later, police used four rounds of blank fire to quell the situation and managed to get out of the area. Yasin recently walked out of jail in several cases filed over land grabbing, drug peddling, and firearms cases," he added.
The grabbing in Jungle Salimpur began in 2004, under the guise of the 'Chhinomul Samabay Samity.' Initially, displaced individuals from river erosion and low-income people from neighbouring districts began to flock to the area to build dwellings on the land with the help of locals, destroying forests, according to sources.
Later, politically affiliated people started land businesses in the name of providing residential plots to the homeless to earn some quick money.
Several criminal gangs, including Yasin Bahini, are accused of sheltering the illegal establishments by taking money from the poor people living there.
The Additional SP said police will lodge a case accusing Yasin in this connection.