- Land dispute issues are one of the main problems that hinder the development potential of the country's backward communities
- Religious and other minorities of the country are facing a lot of land-related problems even during the celebration of 50 years of Bangladesh's independence
- Social, political and law and order security is very important in realising land rights
- Due to weak law or lack of proper implementation of the law, agricultural lands, houses, hills, forests and reservoirs are being occupied on a large scale
- The government is also working to rectify some of the significant flaws in the land laws
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, convener of Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh, has said land dispute issues are one of the main problems hindering the development of the country's backward communities.
Women, religious and other minorities of the country are facing a lot of land-related problems even during the celebrations of 50 years of Bangladesh's independence, he said in a virtual dialogue on Sunday, adding the government has to do the main work to ensure the land rights and security of women, religious minorities and small ethnic groups.
Besides, there is no alternative to social movement, said the eminent economist while conducting the event titled "Women and Minorities' Land Rights and Security" organised by Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh and Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).
Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury was the chief guest at the function presided over by ALRD President Khushi Kabir. ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda presented the keynote address.
According to the main article, marginalised people of the country, especially women and minorities, are constantly suffering from land deprivation, insecurity and human rights violations. Due to weak law or lack of proper implementation of the law, agricultural lands, houses, hills, forests and reservoirs are being occupied on a large scale.
Despite the government's directive not to acquire three-crop agricultural land, such agricultural lands are being acquired for the development of special economic zones and tourism with an emphasis on industry. Moreover, marginalised and minority people quite often become victims of human rights violations when an individual forcibly grabs land while purchasing land for housing or industrial factories
Several points were recommended in the meeting to ensure the security of the land of these marginalised people.
Speaking as the chief guest, Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury said, "We are working to solve the land-related problems of these communities, and the situation is much better than before. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working diligently to take women forward, which has been appreciated all over the world. Legislation has been enacted to protect the enemy property or vested property of minorities. Commission has also been set up to ensure land rights of small ethnic groups."
He added that many people are being harassed in various ways due to faulty land management systems. Modernisation is underway to make those systems people-friendly. The government is also working to rectify some of the significant flaws in the land laws.
Ushatan Talukder, a former member of parliament, Chittagong Hill Tracts; Md Taslimul Islam, director general, Department of Land Records and Survey; Advocate Rana Dasgupta, general secretary, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Parishad; Advocate Prabir Niyogi, senior advocate, Bangladesh Supreme Court; Advocate Zahirul Islam Khan Panna, lawyer, Bangladesh Supreme Court; Queen Yen, Chakma Queen and prominent human rights activist; Dr Fauzia Moslem, president, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad spoke on the occasion, among others.