Alleged land grabbers cut down around 2800 silk trees at a garden of Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board at Sonka village in Birganj upazila of Dinajpur early Friday while an official of Patuakhali Television Relay Centre cut down at least 15 trees on its premises on Tuesday.
Criminals felled around 2800 silk trees covering five acres of land belonging to a garden of Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board at Sonka village in Birganj upazila early Friday in a bid to grab the land, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.
“Around 300 to 400 people with sharp weapons came there and started axing the trees early Friday. Within half an hour, they felled all around 2800 trees. I managed to move to a safe place and informed by high officials instantly,” said Mozammel Haque, security guard of the silk garden.
Confirming the incident, Kamrul Ahsan, manager of Birganj unit of Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board, said, “The five acres of land where the trees have been cut was allocated to the sericulture board after the country's independence.
But one Mominul Islam is claiming the land.”
After the incident he informed police but police did not visit the spot as of filing this report yesterday, he alleged.
Visiting the spot on Friday, this correspondent found that the trees that were axed from stumps include both newly planted and old ones. The criminals dumped the cut trees in a ditch.
Shawkat Hossain, OC of Birganj Police Station, said he heard about the incident, but police will act if a complaint is filed regarding it.
Meanwhile, Lutfar Rahman, in charge of Sonka silk garden, said he filed a general diary on September 29 last year as the land grabbers gave him death threat several times.
The area of Sonka silk garden was 37.32 acres, but it has reduced to 14.55 acres as local influential people grabbed the rest, he said.
Our Patuakhali Correspondent adds: An official of Patuakhali Television Relay Centre has cut down at least 15 trees of different species, including a bakul tree that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina planted during the inaugural programme of the centre on March 15 in 1998.
After opening of the centre, authority planted different trees including margosa, guava, mango and jackfruit on its premises and those grew up to 20 feet, said locals and employees of the TV centre.
But on January 20, Md Mostafizur Rahman, deputy assistant engineer of the relay centre, got at least 15 trees cut down by labourers and later he destroyed those by setting fire, said several employees seeking anonymity.
The employees forbade the officer to cut the trees but he did not listen, they said.
This correspondent found roots of cut trees on the campus during visit to the spot on Friday.
“The deputy assistant engineer cut there trees. One of those, planted by the prime minister, also served as witness to the history of the centre. We have already informed our higher authorities of the matter,” said Md Wali Ullah, maintenance engineer of the relay centre.
Contacted, Md Mostafizur Rahman said, “We cut these trees to keep the campus neat and clean.”
Patuakhali Deputy Commissioner Amitav Sarker said he has heard the matter and will inform the higher authorities concerned of it soon.