Illegal land grab in Naogaon: 5000 acres of forest land lost to encroachers

Illegal land grab in Naogaon: 5000 acres of forest land lost to encroachers

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Paikabandha beat officer Ahmed Ali Mandal said that in the last one and a half years, two houses were built on forest land and a person named Saiful Islam and Akkas Ali built the houses by cutting the trees of the forest. When the forest officials tried to stop them, they showed the land documents and claimed that they had purchased this land. However, this land is gazetted in favor of the forest department and cases are pending in the court regarding this matter.

Ahmed Ali Mandal claimed that it has not been possible to get the land back due to delay in settlement of the case. Currently, 21 cases are pending in the court against 14 people of Halakandar Mouza. Moreover, educational institutions and markets have been built on forest land and there is no option other than litigation to get these lands back.

Dhamairhat beat officer Anisur Rahman said that information about the usurped land and the encroachers is sent to the concerned range officers and divisional forest officers every month. Many cases are being run in the absence of the encroachers and the cases keep going on year after year. The cases are not being settled and neither is the land being returned.

Rajshahi Divisional Forest Officer Mohammad Rafiquzzaman Shah said it is not possible to get these lands back without the involvement or assistance of the concerned district administration. Information related to the encroached land and the occupants has recently been sent to the Naogaon Deputy Commissioner to launch the eviction drive.

However, Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ghulam Maula said that he has not had any conversation with any Forest Department official on this matter recently. No list of those who have encroached the land has been received, but he will be able to give detailed information only after looking into the matter.

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