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Speakers at a programme here on Saturday demanded cancellation of modified lists of the vested property as those cause miseries to the minority community.
They said all the property enlisted as vested ones after March 23, 1974 are ‘illegal’ and demanded cancellation of such inclusion as it goes against the verdict of the Supreme Court and The Enemy Property (Continuance of Emergency Provisions) (Repeal) Act 1974.
They demanded cancellation of the lists under ‘Kha’ category enjoyed by individuals as a whole while modified lists under ‘Ka’ category occupied by the government.
Nine organisations, including Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad (BHBCOP) arranged the views-exchange programme, titled ‘Amendment to the Vested Property Return Act: Hindrance in Implementation and Responsibilities’, at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU).
The eight other co-organisers are Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Arpita Sampatti Ain Protirod Andolan, Ain-O-Salish Kendra, Nijera Kori, Sammilita Shamajik Andolan, Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and Human Development and Research Centre (HDRC).
Presided over by veteran journalist Kamal Lohani, the function was addressed, among others, by Moiunuddin Khan Badal MP, Professor Nimchandra Bhaumik and Advocate Rana Dasgupta, Khushi Kabir, journalist Abu Sayeed Khan, Tabarak Hossain and Kajol Debnath.
Advocate Subrata Chowdhury presented the keynote paper.
The speakers said 70-80 percent of property under the ‘Ka’ category and all the property under the ‘Kha’ category were illegally included as vested property.
Many lands owned by minorities and even some lands owned by Muslims were included in the lists under the ‘Kha’ category through gazette notifications, they alleged.
They further alleged that the applicants are being subjected to harassment by employees of the land offices when they go to collect necessary documents and certificates of lands and urged the government to stop the harassment.
They demanded appointment of adequate number of competent judges at district-level tribunals for quick disposal of vested property disputes.
In his keynote paper, Subrata Chowdhury said district-level tribunals and committees were formed to dispose of the disputes over vested property. More than 4.5 lakh applications were placed before the tribunals and committees, reclaiming the property. The number of the applications will surpass 10 lakh within a few days, he added.
According to primary counts of the land ministry, some 1,97,214 acres of lands were included under the ‘Ka’ category, while 445922 acres of lands were under the ‘Kha’ category, said the keynote paper.