HC asks govt to ensure preservation
The High Court yesterday issued a set of directives upon the government to protect and preserve the Mahasthangarh archaeological site and its adjacent mosque and shrine in Bogra.
The court also reconstituted a committee formed earlier to recommend ways to protect the historical archaeological site and its adjacent mosque and shrine.
The HC removed the deputy commissioner of Bogra from the committee and replaced him by the head of the department of history of Government Azizul Huq College in Bogra. The move came as the court was informed that the DC was not sincere in protecting the archaeological site from grabbers.
The HC on February 2 formed the committee headed by the director general of the Department of Archaeology for necessary recommendations.
Other members of the committee were the SP of Bogra, upazila nirbahi officer of Shibganj, historian Prof Muntasir Mamun, journalist Shahriar Kabir, two representatives from Dhaka and Jahangirnagar universities, one representative from the National Museum and the curator of Mahasthangarh shrine.
The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain asked the committee to submit a report before it within two months.
During hearing of a writ petition, the court directed the authorities concerned to stop construction of structures near the archaeological site for the next two months.
The bench summoned the superintendent of police of Bogra to appear before it on March 6 to explain why the people, who are allegedly involved in grabbing the archaeological site, were not placed on remand.
Earlier in February, the HC ordered the SP to arrest influential locals Khokon Sarker and Sabuj Sarker, who were allegedly involved in grabbing land and damaging the archaeological site, and place them on remand to unearth who were behind them.
The police arrested the two, who were also released on bail in a case filed on charge of damaging the site.
The HC yesterday directed Khokon and Sabuj and one Saiful to appear before it on March 6, although they appeared yesterday as per an earlier order.
The court directed the government to provide security to reporters of two national dailies in Bogra and the custodian of Mahasthangarh archaeological museum as land grabbers are threatening them in different ways.
It asked the DC and SP of Bogra to ensure security of the family members of the reporters of The Daily Star and the daily Prothom Alo and the custodian.
Hasibur Rahman Bilu of The Daily Star, Milon Rahman of the Prothom Alo and Custodian Naheed Sultana yesterday told the bench some people who were involved in land grabbing in the name of developing the shrine are threatening to "punish" them through mobile courts by filing false cases.
Earlier on Tuesday, their lawyer advocate Manzill Murshid informed the court the journalists and the custodian are being threatened by the land grabbers and their men for putting obstacle in their activities.
The HC bench that day asked Hasibur, Milon and Naheed to appear before it and place their statements yesterday.
The bench also directed the officer-in-charge of Shibganj police, Shibganj upazila nirbahi officer and mazar [shrine] committee member Shariful Islam Zinnah to appear before the court on March 10 to explain their conducts.
It also directed the local administration to publish its undistorted order for protecting the shrine, mosque and heritage through different media so that nobody can spread rumours against the HC order.
Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared for the writ petitioner, while Advocate Munsurul Huq Chowdhury argued for the DC and Advocate Zahid Hossain Sentu for Khokon and Sabuj.