More than 50 people from the harijan community losing their lands in Narsingdi

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Hill Voice, 19 September 2020, Narsingdi: Nearly half a hundred members of the Harijan community living in Ghorashal Urea Fertiliser Factory in Narsingdi are losing their lands after losing their jobs. In this situation, they are passing the day in the midst of despair and panic.

More than half a hundred Harijan families have been living side by side working at Ghorashal Urea Fertiliser Factory since its inception. Some of them make a living by working in the office, some outside and some in school and college. Authorities removed them from the jobs when reforms on the factory began recently. This time the authorities have decided to evict them from their homesteads. In this situation, about half a hundred members of the Harijan community are living in miserable condition.

It is learnt in the onsite investigation, it was seen that men, women and children were sitting outside the factory. There was a look of frustration and panic in their eyes. When asked about the reason, they said, we are poor, small in caste, so no one looks at us, nobody does even consider them as valued.

One of them, who did not want to be named, said that the factory authorities had come and locked our living room, where would we go now? What to do? Where will I spend the night? We don’t have our own house, no one give house rent to us. Tears were seen in the eyes of many while saying the words. While the reporter was going a little further, a door is locked behind his eyes.

According to the investigation, It is mentioned in the circulation signed by Ghorashal Fertiliser Factory Manager (Administration) and Head of Department Dil Afroz Akter on 22 June 2020, with memo no. 023/5/606 that those who all permanent and temporary workers / employees living in E-type and F-type residential areas of the factory are removed from the job and got retired, but have not left their quarters, the  authorities will take legal action against them if they will not leave quarters within 5 days.

Following the notice, the factory authorities again directed the members of the Harijan community to vacate their quarters.

Palash Upazila Nirbahi Officer Rumana Yasmin issued a directive along with Ghorashal-Palash Urea Fertilizer Project Director to seriously consider the matter in the light of the application. The factory authorities later ordered the Harijan community to leave their quaters without rehabilitation. As part of this, the factory authorities locked a house of the Harijans with their men last Tuesday.

Talking about this with Chandan Basfor, Youth Sports Affairs Secretary of Narsingdi District Branch of Bangladesh Harijan Oikya Parishad, he said, “I used to work at a nearby thermal power plant from this house. Now I have found a home here. But my relatives also live here. Where I will take them. Where will they make their home?

“My parents worked in the factory from here,” said Pankaj Basfor, joint member secretary of the central committee of the Bangladesh Harijin Youth Unity Council and a resident of the area. The authorities have discharged all of us from our jobs and are now taking away our accommodation. But the Prime Minister has asked for action subject to rehabilitation. We demand the same.

Aminul Islam Bhuiyan, president of CBA of Ghorashal Urea Fertiliser Factory, said that since a project had been taken to merge the two factories, the authorities had dropped them as they did not need them all. However, it is inhumane to evict them from their homes without rehabilitation. Because no one gives to rent a house to them. They like to stay as a family. However, I will try to settle the incident of locking the house suddenly.

Ghorashal-Palash Fertilizer Project Manager (Administration) Ahiduzzaman told, “We have not removed anyone from their jobs.” We also did not instruct anyone to leave the house. But what their factory has done is up to them.

Now it’s Corona’s turn. I don’t want to rent their house at normal time. Renting a house at this time is like imagining a kind of sky flower. In that situation, they have sought the vision of the Prime Minister.

Now it’s Corona’s turn. Normally where no one wants to rent house to them, renting a house at this time is a very tough matter for them. In that situation, they have sought the intervention of the Prime Minister.

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