HC pulls for 2 Old Dhaka structures | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 21, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 21, 2012

HC pulls for 2 Old Dhaka structures

Asks authorities to explain demolition

Workers demolish the Radha-Krishna Temple, an archeologically important structure and part of Old Dhaka heritage, on December 15, 2011. Photo Courtesy: Ben Moldehauer

The High Court on Sunday asked the authorities concerned why their failure to preserve two archeological structures in Old Dhaka -- 'Shankhanidhi House' and 'Radha-Krishna Temple' -- should not be declared illegal.
In response to a writ petition, the bench of Justice HM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain also asked why the failure of taking legal actions against the demolisher should not be declared illegal either.
The rule came after architect Taimur Islam, chief executive of Urban Study Group (USG), filed a writ petition as Ashraf Ali, an influential of the old part of the city, knocked down the aesthetically important establishments in December 2011.
The court directed the director general of Department of Bangladesh Archaeology, chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and deputy commissioner of Dhaka to take necessary steps to preserve the national archaeological establishment and inform the court about the progress in four weeks.
Barrister Tanjib-ul-Alam and Associates lodged the petition on behalf Taimur Islam.
The 'Shankhanidhi Lodge' located at 38, Tipu Sultan Road -- a place of local feudal lord or Jamindar Lal Mohan Saha and his brother Bhajahari Saha of Wari -- had been constructed in 1920.
The archaeology department in 1989 declared four of the buildings the two brothers made on Tipu Sultan Road 'preserved sites'. However, all of those have been demolished due to inaction of the authorities concerned, a USG press release said.
The 'Radha-Krishna Temple' within the boundary of the lodge was important for its crafts and beautiful design.
The court also said under Bangladesh Antiquity Act 1968 and Bangladesh Urban Development Law 1953, the government might take legal actions against the grabber, Ashraf Ali, to realise compensation for destroying the structures.
According to the law, Dhaka district administration and Department of Archaeology are responsible for protection, preservation and management of the heritage sites, the release added.

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