DHAKA: Veteran politician and Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta Saturday made a strong plea that the Vested Property Return Act (amendment) has to be passed in the next Parliament session to reclaim the grabbed lands of the minority groups.
“Otherwise, it will be assumed that a vested quarter inside the government is opposing the matter despite the Prime Minister’s direction,” he said, making a further cutting comment that insider-opponents are much stronger than the outsider ones.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry also alleged that bureaucracy has exerted hidden influence for last 45 years so that the law could not be made.
He came up with the comments at the national convention of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad at the National Press Club.
Suranjit said, ”The PM asked the leaders of the Hindu community to place an identical proposal in this regard. Today’s proposal is the same, of all groups, of all people. This proposal has to be turned into a law.”
The convention adopted a 7-point declaration with one refixing the definition of vested property. The leaders also urged Prime Minister’s intervention to make the law effective within 90 days of passing.
In November last year, the cabinet approved the Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act under which the expropriated property of the minority community members is supposed to be returned to them.
The Awami League government elected in 1996 in the final days of its tenure had passed the Vested Property Return Act 2001 to hand over the vested property back to the real owners.
But the law could not be implemented during the subsequent four-party alliance government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on August 28 asked for giving a joint proposal in this regard following demand for amending some sections of the law.
Dhaka University Vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique, Biren Sikder MP, Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad General Secretary Rana Dasgupta and CPB General Secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim also addressed the convention.
BDST: 1639 HRS SEPT 18, 2010