Maiden arrests over Buriganga grabbing
The Department of Environment (DoE) in a special drive yesterday realised Tk 3.21 lakh in fines from three river grabbers, filed cases and arrested two of them for filling up the Buriganga at three points.
This was the first time river grabbers were arrested.
The arrestees are Haji Mahbubur Rahman and Bilal. The other grabber -- Saleha Begum--was not arrested.
The DoE also ordered them to re-excavate those parts of the river they had filled up.
A DoE press release said the drive conducted by a special team covered a two kilometre-stretch of the Buriganga in Kamrangirchar, Swarighat and Ashrafbad areas.
Mahbubur Rahman fenced off with bamboo a 50-decimal portion of the river and was filling it up with sand bags. Bilal filled up four decimal and Saleha encroached upon a 100-food stretch of the river.
The special team was led by Mohammed Munir Chowdhury, DoE director of Monitoring and Enforcement wing, and assisted by a team of Rab personnel.
“Haji Mahbubur Rahman is a notorious river grabber of the area. Though there are cases against him, I don't understand why the police were not arresting him,” said Munir.
The DoE team arrested Mahbub and sent him to Kamrangirchar Police Station.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority filed a case against Mahbub on January 26 following a report published in The Daily Star. But the local police station did not arrest him.
The DoE realised Tk 2.61 lakh in fine from Mahbub, Tk 50,000 from Saleha Begum and Tk 10,000 from Bilal.
According to the Environment Conservation Act (amendment) 2010, river grabbers could be fined up to Tk 10 lakh and also jailed for 10 years.