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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vested Property Act disgrace against democracy

Daily Sun, Dhaka, Metropolis, 27 Feb 2011

Vested Property Act disgrace against democracy
Speakers tell roundtable

Speakers at a roundtable termed the Vested Property Act a shame for democracy and said that the act must be annulled without delay to brighten the country’s image as a secular and peaceful land.

“As far as the issue of human right is concerned, the law should be repealed immediately to allay the minorities’ fear,” said Chairman of Bangladesh Human Rights Commission Dr Mizanur Rahman.

Branding the Enemy (vested) Property Act 1965 as a discriminatory law, he said the act cannot be acceptable to society.

Seven organisations -- Association for Land Reform and Development, Ain O Shalishi Kendra, Bangladesh Hindu Buddha Christian Oikyo Parishad, Movement for Resistance of the Vested Property Act, Sammilita Samajik Andolon, Nijera Kori and HDRC arranged the roundtable at Cirdap auditorium on Saturday.

Chaired by Justice Golam Rabbani, the function was addressed, among others, by adviser to the former caretaker government Advocate Sultana Kamal, Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, Barrister Amirul Islam, Prof Mezbah Kamal and Prof Abul Barakat. Noted lawyer Subrata Chowdhury moderated the function.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddha Christian Okiya Parishad Advocate Rana Dasgupta presented a keynote paper titled “Vested Property Return (amendment) Act: Need to End Historic Injustice.”

Elderly politician Ajoy Roy, Maj Gen (retd) CR Dutta, Barrister Sara Hossain, human rights activist Aroma Dutta, Additional Attorney General MK Rahman, and General Secretary of Adhibasi Forum Sanjib Drang also spoke.

Human Rights Commission Chairman Dr Mizanur Rahman said, “So far the vested property act will exist, the citizens of country will be divided as ‘enemy’ and ‘friend”.

“It will appear that the ghost of Pakistani rulers is still haunting the administration,” he added.

Dr Mizan said a complete anarchic situation and mismanagement is prevailing centring the vested property, which is also affecting the members of majority Muslim community.

He said the commission while placing its annual report to the president in March will recommend scraping the law immediately and returning the vested property to their owners or successors through a tribunal.

Justice Golam Rabbani blamed the bureaucracy for the sufferings of the people caused due to the Vested Property Act.

In her speech, Advocate Sultana Kamal said people expected that the present government would take lesson from the past.

Hasanul Haq Inu MP said the vested property act was enacted out of vengeance to minorities. The Vested Property Return Act 2001 and the country’s constitution should be the guideline for repealing the act, he said. —BSS

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