Construction on at Tetultala playground despite home minister’s assurance
Despite resistance from environmentalists, human rights bodies, eminent citizens, local people and children, construction work of Kalabagan police station is going on at Tetultala playground.
The work that started on Sunday continued till 1:00am today and after an eight hour pause, work resumed this morning, said Mahmudur Rahman, a resident of the area.
He said there are around 20 police personnel at the construction site while around 10 workers are working there today.
Local children gathered at the site and were watching helplessly at the construction operations. Some of them requested the workers to stop the construction.
"We are trying to contact the home minister. We will decide our next course of action following the outcome of the meeting with him," said Joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, Iqbal Habib.
On Monday (April 25, 2022), Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan at a programme at Tejgaon said he had asked the city corporation and others concerned to find an alternative place for Kalabagan Police Station.
Speaking to journalists at the programme, the minister said if a suitable place for the station cannot be found, a decision would be made later upon discussion.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, asked when the home minister himself said that it will be solved through discussion, why is construction work still going on? It seems that the government is not sincere about it, she added.
If they want to discuss then they will have to stop the work, she said.
On Sunday (April 24), Kalabagan police picked up Syeda Ratna, who has been leading protests to save Tetultala playground, along with her son Mohammad Isha Abdullah. Police released the mother and son around 13 hours later, with an undertaking that she would not get involved in any movement to protect the playground.
At a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday morning, green organisations and rights bodies said they would go for legal battle over the detention of Ratna and her son, the undertaking and retention of the playground.
They also demanded that the government keep the Tetultala playground open to all and stop the construction of a police station there.