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Thursday, February 12, 2009

HRCBM-Dinajpur's protests against 'madrasa' on temple land continue


Friday, February 13, 2009 04:33 AM GMT+06:00

Dinajpur DC terms leasing illegal, promises steps to recover Kantajieu Temple's land

(Top) A silent procession demanding immediate steps to recover the grabbed land of Kantajieu Temple yesterday. (Bottom) A signboard, near the structure illegally erected on the land of Kantanagar Temple, popularly known as Kantajieu Mandir, claims the land as site for a madrasa. Photo: STAR
Protests continue as 'madrasa rooms' illegally built on the deity land of historic Kantajieu Mandir, in Birganj upazila in the district, are yet to be removed.

Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Md Nabiul Haque Mollah, who is also chief of the Trustee Board on Kantajieu Temple Deity Land, at a meeting on the deity land yesterday said 'permanent leasing' of the deity land is illegal.

“I will write to the Ministry of Land urging cancellation of the 'leasing deal' within two or three days if the land code does not give me power to cancel it,” he said at the meeting presided over by himself.

On January 16, some people put corrugated iron sheets and bamboos on the deity land and hung a signboard in the name of Shantibagh Alhera Nurani Talimul Quran Madrasa there.

On January 28, they built three rooms on the temple land under police protection although they did not have any valid land documents, locals said.

Since then tension prevails in the area triggering series of protests.

Dinajpur Chapter of World Hindu Federation, Human Right Congress For Bangladesh Minorities and Hindu Dharma Kalyan Trust yesterday brought out a silent procession demanding immediate steps to recover the grabbed deity land.

According to the records of Birganj land office, Maharaja Jagadish Chandra Roy, son of Maharaja Girijanath Roy Bahadur, donated 16.53 acres of land to lord Kantajieu at Makrai under Birganj upazila as deity land of Kantajieu Temple.

Records of Birganj upazila land office say that at least 85 decimals of 16.53 acres land was permanently leased out to Mohammad Nuhu of village Makrai under Birganj upazila in 1978-79.

Md Shiddiqul Alam, president of the madrasa committee, said they purchased the land from Nuhu in 2007 but the land has not been registered due to complexities regarding the documents.

Md Abu Raihan, assistant land commissioner of Birganj upazila, said there is no provision to permanently lease out any deity land to any person.

Meanwhile, there are allegations of harassing minority people after Nuhu filed a case with Bigranj Executive Magistrate's Court on February 2 accusing four minority people of inciting his community members to build a Ram Temple on the madrasa land.