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POST TIME: 13 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Food court construction near mass killing ground triggers protest
Staff Reporter, Barishal

Food court construction near mass killing ground triggers protest

The construction of a food court near the place marked as the mass killing ground during the Liberation War has come under severe criticism from several quarters.

Barishal Muktijuddher Baddhyobhumi Sangrakkhon Committee (BMBSC) organised human chains, rallies and agitation programmes on Tuesday afternoon and yesterday morning  in front of Ashwini Kumar Hall to protest against such construction.

Freedom fighters, journalists, socio-cultural activists and green activists took part in these protest programmes. BMBSC convener Manabendra Batobayal presided over the programme.

It was addressed by BSSSP secretary Mintu Kumar Kar, Mahbubuddin Ahmed Bir Bikram, Qutubuddin Ahmed, Mokhlesur Rahman, Ehsan Rabbi, Syed Dulal, cultural leaders, Abul Kalam Azad, Pulak Chatterji, Sushanta Ghosh, Shuvangkar Chakraborty, Anwar Zahid, Tulurani Karmakar, Puspa Chakraborty, Mohsin Ul Islam and others.

The speakers said the WAPDA complex was used as a cantonment for the Pakistani occupation forces, a torture place, and a mass killing ground during the Liberation War in 1971. It should be preserved as part of te country's history of independence, they added.

They said the construction of a food cpurt near this ground will destroy the sanctity of the place. They demanded that the construction be stopped within 48 hours. They said if the construction work does not stop within that time, they will arrange another agitation programme on September 13.

The speakers also asked for implementing the master plan for beautification and construction of the monuments at the mass killing ground and places related to the Liberation War.

On Saturday last, a team, led by Prof. Muntasir Mamun, visited the spot. They also expressed their solidarity with the protestors.

Journalist Aktar Faruk Shahin, owner of the underconstruction food court, claimed that he started the construction legally after taking the land in a lease from Barishal City Corporation (BCC) to provide hygienic food to visitors to that place. An establishment of armed police battalion will ve constructed near that premise.

"So, the food court will not affect the honour and sanctity of the place," Shahin claimed

BCC estate officer Md Shakil, however, said that he does not know anything about the lease process. No file or plan in this regard has been approved by the BCC, he added.