National Human Rights Commission chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said Sunday that nobody could be denied land rights.
During exchange of views with rights activists at his office he described the right to own land as human right.
He said that Article 42 of the Constitution stipulates that it was a fundamental right of each citizen to own and use land and transfer its ownership.
He said that the ground reality was that many poor citizens and ethnic people had been evicted from their land under continuous land grabbing.
In the process, he said, that these people had been deprived of their land rights.
The event was jointly organised by the NHRC, Association for Land Reform and Development, Association for Realization of Basic Needs, Community Development Association, Kapaeeng Foundation, Nagorik Uddyog and the International Land Coalition.
Instead of distributing khas land among the landless people as the rules require, said the NHRC chairman, the landless were being forced to sell their tiny land holdings.
He said the number of landless people was increasing in the country due to continuous land acquisition by the government on the pretext of industrialisation or public interest.
‘None should be evicted from their land’ he said.
Nijera Kori coordinator Khusi Kabir who chaired the event said that the government was not following its rules while acquiring land.
Payment of land price can be no compensation to the landowners, she said.
She asked the government to bring the business people to bear the corporate business responsibility of rehabilitating the land owners whose land was used for industrialization.
KF executive director Pallab Chakma said that the indigenous people were facing the crisis of existence even in the hill districts due to land related issues.
Development activities were happening by acquiring lands of the indigenous people without rehabilitating them, forcing them to leave the country, he said.
He said that the police, the army and BGB were grabbing indigenous people’s lands for developing eco parks and tourism.
ALRD deputy executive director Rowshan Jahan Moni said that over 80 per cent cases were filed in courts over land disputes.
She that the government’s plan to create 100 new export processing zones across the country would make hundreds of people homless.
NU executive director Zakir Hossain said that unless the government ensured land and housing rights of the minority people their migration cannot be stopped.
A participant said in her presentation that only four per cent women own land though their participation in agriculture was 61 per cent.
NHRC members Nurun Naher Osmani, Banchita Chakma, CDA executive director Shah I Mobin Jinnah, NHRC director (complain and investigation) Al-Mahmud Fayzul Kabir spoke among others.
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