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River land grabbers cannot run polls: HC

The High Court on Sunday asked the Election Commission not to allow any person accused of grabbing river land to contest any election including local government and parliamentary ones.

The High Court bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal came up with the order after hearing a writ petition on Sunday.

It directed Bangladesh Bank to take steps so that any person accused of grabbing river land cannot get bank loan.

The HC asked the education ministry to take steps to arrange an hour-long class each a week in two months at all government and private academic institutions including schools, college, universities and madrasahs for building awareness over the rivers.

The bench also asked the industries ministry to take a step to arrange an hour-long meeting a day in two months each for building consciousness for protecting the river among the laborers of the mills and factories across the country.

The court also ordered the government to amend the National River Protection Commission Act 2013 for making the National River Protection Commission effective and independent and submit a report after complying with the order before the court in six months.

According to the HC order, the commission has been asked to take necessary development measures and protection for all the rivers of the country.

Declaring Turag River as a living entity and a ‘legal and juristic person’ the HC asked the authorities concerned to remove all structures from it in the next 30 days.