On Thursday, Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Murshid sent the government a legal notice to stop cutting down trees in Dhaka's historic Suhrawardy Udyan to set up a restaurant.
The notice has been served on Liberation War Affairs Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Public Works Department Chief Engineer, Mohammad Shamim Akhter, and Chief Architect Mir Manzurur Rahman.
Lawyer Manzill Murshid, also president of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), told journalists that legal action would be taken if cutting trees at the historic grounds does not stop within 48 hours.
According to the legal notice, the High Court (HC) in 2009 gave several directions for the conservation of the park, responding to an HRPB writ seeking preservation of the historic sites at Suhrawardy Udyan.
According to the HC directives, Ramna or Suhrawardy Udyan is not just an area. Rather, the area has been considered a special area since the establishment of Dhaka city, and has a historical and environmental heritage.
"Not only that, the area is the centre of all democratic freedom movements in Bangladesh. In that context, the entire area demands to be preserved as a special zone. There should not be any establishment that can pale the history and heritage of the area," said the HC.
The court also said Ramna Udyan or Ramna Racecourse Maidan is like a lung of Dhaka city. There is no way it can be infected. Since it has been known as Udyan since time immemorial, it will be illegal to burden it with unnecessary installations.
Thursday's legal notice said, ignoring the court, many trees have already been chopped down at Suhrawardy Udyan destroying the environment for business purposes – which is the complete opposite of the HC verdict.