Source: The Daily star News
There are about 30 lakh acres of land treated as vested property in the country and most of them have been under the possession of vested quarters for the last 44 years, leaders of research and human rights organisations said yesterday.
But the government puts the figure at 6.50 lakh, they said at a press conference at the National Press Club.
They also said the proposed Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act 2009 is not acceptable, since it will protect the interest of only the vested quarters.
This Act does not have any specific provision regarding the return of the lands to the genuine owners, they added.
They also demanded that the government include specific rules in the proposed law, so that the real owners can get back their property.
They also called on the government to publish a gazette notification on the enemy properties as per the census list of 1974, so that the co-partners or the family members or the community members of the original owners can apply to the court to get back the properties.
Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Sammilita Samajik Andolon, Orpito Sampatti Ain Protirodh Andolon (Enemy Property Law Resistance Movement), HDRC, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA), Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Nijera Kori (NK), Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) jointly organised the press conference.
Speaking at the press conference, Justice Mohammad Gholam Rabbani demanded enactment of a fresh law enabling the original owners or their family members to get back their properties.
ASK Executive Director Sultana Kamal said the proposed act is inconsistent with the spirit of the communal harmony, the constitution and the humanity.
Prof Abul Barakat, Advocate Subrata Chowdhury, Shamsul Huda, Ayesha Khanam, and Khushi Kabir also spoke while Advocate Tobarak Hossain read out a written statement.
Tobarak Hossain said influential people with the connivance of local land officials had occupied these lands, and that even the land officials themselves illegally occupied a large portion of the vested property.