Abu-Hanif, Bagerhat Office
In the Singati area of Bagerhat, an influential mahal has illegally sold government (khas khatian) trees. Complaint received. When Tariqul started cutting down trees with his lever, the locals became angry and instantly turned into a mass protest among the locals. Upon receiving the news, Fakirhat Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) sent Sadar Tehsildar and confiscated some trees.
According to eyewitnesses and locals, Samresh Roy Chowdhury of Singati village in Fakirhat upazila of Bagerhat sold about 140 different species of trees from 256, 251, 153 and 154 khatiyan (khas) of Singati mouza at a price of Tk 260,000. To Tariqul, a timber trader. When the buyer started cutting the tree with his lever, there was extreme anger among the locals. Village Chowkidar Sheikh Delwar Hossain immediately informed the matter to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Aceland and Fakirhat Sadar Tehsildar. On the instructions of the higher authorities, the Sadar Tehsildar came to the spot and handed over some timber to the local UP member.
According to the locals, Samresh Babu has already sold different species of forest trees for Rs 350,000 to Syed Mizanur Rahman Member, Rs 250,000 to Sheikh Nurul Islam Sir and Rs 140,000 to Tariqul. We want exemplary punishment. Local businessman Babu Subrata Bose, teacher Sheikh Murshid Ali, district lawyers assistant association president Moral Mizanur Rahman Mintu, Sheikh Faruk Hossain and village chowkidar Sheikh Delwar Hossain said, “We don’t understand how he sold the trees on Khas Khatian’s property.” He did not care about the rules and regulations and carried out immoral activities in the guise of the ruling party. Ordinary people have become hostages because of their many misdeeds. Under their leadership, they cut down many roadside trees at night and sold them to various tree traders and mill owners. The villagers do not dare to shout against them. When we inform some people about these irregularities to the administration and the miscreants are released due to the lobbying of the influential people. We urge the administration to take legal action against those involved in illegal logging. However, accused Babu Samresh Roy Chowdhury said, “I have cut down trees in my ancestral place. A case is pending in the court regarding this property. I have also applied to the Upazila Assistant Commissioner for land to identify khas land, but a quarter is spreading propaganda to humiliate me.” Some timber traders, who did not want to be named, said, “We bought the trees with money from Samresh Babu, but we do not know if they are government land.” I have been in the timber business for a long time but I have never seen such looting of trees in government places.
Local UP member Syed Mizanur Rahman said, “I have heard that Samresh Babu has sold the trees in his place.” Meanwhile, tree buyer Tariqul Islam, a timber trader, told this correspondent that he had bought 140 trees from Samresh Babu of Singati for Tk 260,000 in cash. Local village policeman Delwar Hossain said, “I have informed the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Aceland and the police.” We demand to take legal action in this regard. Meanwhile, it has been reported that a mahal is holding court proceedings in various ways to suppress the issue of sale of trees.
The officer-in-charge of Fakirhat Model Police Station said, “I heard the matter through people.” Legal action will be taken if a written complaint is received.
Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) Rahima Sultana Bushra said, “Someone called me in the morning and told me to send the Sadar Tehsildar (Naib) to the spot immediately.” And legal action will be taken against those involved in illegal logging.
Sadar Tehsildar (Naib) Md. Anisur Rahman said, I went to the spot on the instructions of Sir and confiscated some trees and kept them in custody. They will be sold at auction in a day or two.