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The Financial Express

Seven villagers sustain injuries in confrontation with brick kiln goons

Owners purchased 10 bighas of land from the villagers in 2017 for a cold storage. Later, they started to build a brick kiln.



The under-construction brick kiln on a piece of cropland in Shurkali village under Badalgachhi upazila. 	— FE Photo The under-construction brick kiln on a piece of cropland in Shurkali village under Badalgachhi upazila. — FE Photo

RAJSHAHI, Mar 21: Villagers and the owner of a brick kiln at Shurkali village under Adhaipur union of Badalgachhi under greater Rajshahi district were in a confrontational state following the construction of the brick kiln  on a cropland near human habitation and beside educational institution. Recently, there was also a clash between the villagers and the musclemen hired by the brick kiln owners in which seven of villages were injured.

Villagers said one Feroz Hossain and his brother Sanowar Hossain purchased 10-bighas of land from the villagers in 2017 by telling them to make a cold storage in that land. But, in July 2017, Feroz and Sanowar started to build a brick kiln there instead of cold storage which resulted in a great anger from the villagers. The villagers protested the move of making a brick kiln  at the area close to human habitation and a school. The villagers submitted memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner and the Director of the Department Of Environment in Rajshahi requesting to stop making of the brick kiln but defying all resistance and protest from the villagers and the DOE, the construction work of the brick kiln is continuing.

It is learnt, as per the complaint from the villagers, the AKM Masuduzzaman,  Director of DOE, Rajshahi division through Memorandum No 22.02.1020.221.60.044.17 dated 10-09-2017 ordered the owner of the brick kiln to stop all activities of making of the brick kiln  immediately.

The owners of the brick kiln  also stopped the construction work for a time being following the direction of the memorandum. However, from Saturday last they restarted to construction work of the brick kiln. In protest against the construction works, villages on last Sunday morning tried to resist the workers of the kiln to continue their work when hired goons of owners of the brick kiln armed in rod and other weapons attacked the villagers injuring seven villagers including Dabir Uddin (70), Fazel Hossain (40), Habibur Rahman (58), Abdul Mannan (52), Akamuddin (57), , Abdul Jabber (60) and Babul Hossain (47). Three of the injured persons were admitted to a local health complex.

Anjuara, China Begum, Nazma Begum and Anjuara of Adhaipur village said when the villagers protested construction of a brick kiln inside human habitation, the armed goons of owners of the brick kiln attacked them with baton.

During this time agitated villagers also damaged some motorcycles and broke windows and doors of a room belonged to the owners of the brick kiln. Police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. A tense situation has been prevailing at the village and surrounding area following the clash.

Feroz Hossain, owner of the brick kiln said no one belonged to brick kiln attacked the villagers rather villagers entered into his area and damaged several motorcycles and ransacked doors and windows of the house used for brick kiln.

Jalal Uddin, OC of the Badalgacchi Police Station, said hearing the news of clash, he went to the spot with force and brought the situation under control.

UNO Masum Ali said the administration will not allow to happen any untoward incident centering the illegal brick kiln.

AKM Masuduzaman, director of Department of Environment, Rajshahi division, said despite a ban and a direction to stop the construction work, the owner of the brick kiln was continuing his work which is a clear violation of rules. Legal action will be taken against the violators in this connection, he mentioned.

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