Victims urged ACC to investigate
Special Correspondent: Allegation of unprecedented swindling with the dwellers of Pachar Dwip (Island) in Cox’s Bazar has been intensified against a government bureaucrat named Kabir Bin Anwar, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources.
He is also son of veteran Awami League leader and cultural personality Anwar Hossain Rotu, former General Secretary of Sirajganj district Awami League and also fundamental organizer of Liberation War.
According to the allegation, Kabir Bin Anwar has protected his own resort carrying emergency work on the coastal area in the name ofresisting erosion. Due to the work, he basicallyown-selfhas become benefited largely instead of others. The project of emergency fund allocated under supervision ofthe Water Development Board (WDB) did not come to help for locals,it is alleged.
As a result, there is prevailing anger and dissatisfaction among the victims over the issue.
Prabir Kumar Goswami, the then Executive Engineer of WDB in Cox’s Bazar said, “The length of that emergency work was 330 meters, where Tk 40 lakh was spent. The protection worksby dumping sand sacks with Geo-textile was taken up near the estuary of Reju canal and Pachar Dwip area to protect the coast from erosion being directed by Water Resource Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar after receiving application tactfully from locals.”
Sources said, an application signed by some 81 people living on the coastal area of Ramu upazila was submitted to the Water Resource Ministry Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar on June 4 seeking immediate measure to prevent erosion and protect the coast.
It was said in the application that, “We are residents of Pachar Dwip village, which is an erosion prone area in Ramu upazila of Cox’s Bazar. There are many establishments including homesteads, educational institutions, Mosques, temple, graveyard, coconut and betel nut orchard, which are now under threat of erosion. But every year the sea waves breach this coastal area and cause huge damage of crops. We demand necessary steps to protect the area from erosion.”
Kabir Bin Anwar, Senior Secretary of the Water Resource Ministryforwarded the application to the Chief Engineer of WDB Chattogram region with written instructions for taking emergency steps on this regard.
But, the applicants complained that, some influential people of the area including Mahbub, Sarwar and Kashem introducing themselves as the men of Kabir Bin Anwar created pressure on them to submit such an application. But they could not even imagine that the application will be used in protecting the own resort of the secretary, the victims claimed.
During an investigation, the victims complained that, no action was taken in the way they had applied for the boundaries of the affected areas. Instead, some influential people, including senior secretary Kabir Bin Anwar, have protected their own assets by capitalizing their petitions. They did not understand such conspiracy before. Originally, the purpose of appealing to them in this way was premeditated, which is nothing but deception.
Among them, Mahmud Alam, the most aggrieved claimant, had a direct charge against Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar. He complained that, Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar has forcibly occupied the land of poor farmers like him and built a resort road with a view to protect their own assets.
He further said,”Kabir Bin Anwar tied me up and beat me mercilessly with some local cadres led by the then Union Parishad chairman Abdul Mabud. Many people in the area have witnessed this. Occupying my land, he also paved the way to his private resort. Later,I was forced to register the land. But, I was deprived of a fair price.”
Badiul Alam, a local village doctor said, Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar has protected his own resort using the signature of local people of Pachar Dwip. But, the protection workdid not come to help for the locals.
While asked about the allegation of tying and torturing one Mahmud Alam, Abdul Mabud, the outgoing chairman of Khuniapalang Union said, “There was no road,while buying the land by Secretary Sir. For this reason, the Union Parishad has assisted to build the road. Mahbub, Sarwar, Kashem and many others close to the secretary were present at the spot on that day.”
“I am also called there at that time. However, the allegation of beating Mahmud Alam is totally false and baseless,” he added.
He further said, “The land bought by the secretary was Ejmali (joint) property. First, he bought it from Mahmud Alam’s elder brother’s daughtersand thenhe also bought Mahmud Alam’s land. Later, an aristocrat resort was built on the land spending several crores of Taka.”
Incidentally, there is no signboard at the secretary’s resort for mysterious reasons. Although not named, it is known in the area as ‘Water Secretary’s Resort’. Everything needs to stay in a modern resort is there.
Locals said, sometimes the secretary himself comes here and spends time. Abdus Salam, a relative of complainant Mahmud Alam, took care of Kabir Bin Anwar’s resort.
While contacted, Abdus Salam said, “The name of the resort is ‘Light House’. However, the secretary did not give any signboard outside. Because of the resort is private. When Secretary Sir comes to Cox’s Bazar, he stays here.The design of Marine was also changed mostly due to establishing of these luxury resorts.”
According to the investigation, Kabir Bin Anwar bought 20 decimals of land in Pachar Dwip Mouza of Khuniapalang Union by only Tk 30,000 on November 30 in 2000. Later, he built a luxury resort there by spending crores of Taka. Themutation of the namewas executed from Ramu Land Office in 2009.
More important information also comes forwards, while this correspondent looking forthe information. At that time, it is learnt that, more land has also been bought in the name of his son-Samad Bin Kabir. It was done on May 21 in 2015 and the naming of this land was completed on April 26in 2016. Originally the secretary’s son became the owner of thevaluable property, while he was 12 and a student.
Victims urged the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to launch an investigation to find out his wealth measure.
When this correspondent tried to contact with the Senior Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar several times over cell phone for his comment in this regard, he did not response.
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