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Sylhet city dotted with illegal cattle markets

42Despite Sylhet City Corporation’s prohibition on makeshift cattle markets this year, influential quarters including the pro-Awami League leaders and activists have allegedly set up several markets in different parts of the city ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
During a visit Tuesday, this correspondent found at least two areas–Law College and Chalibandar–where bamboo structures have been erected and the sale of sacrificial animals started, with traders inviting buyers through loudspeakers.
In addition, construction was underway at Sports Complex playground, Dariyapara, Modushohid, Patantula, Kazitula,  Masimpur, Ambarkhana, Akhalia, Taltola, Tilagar, Jalopara, Tacnical Road and open space in front of MC College but the workers could not name any of the organisers of the markets.
These will open in a day or two, they said.
the SCC decided not to lease out any open place for makeshift markets to prevent traffic congestion and extortion during Eid, said SCC Chief Excutive Anamul Habib. They have also requested police to evict the illegal markets, he told.
Badar Uddin Ahmed, the city Awami League president, also former SCC mayor, said they did not encourage any activist to set up illegal cattle markets, adding that they would take action if any specific complaint was found.
Denying his complicity in setting up any market near Chalibandar, Abul Kaher Iju, a city AL leader, and Truck Malik Group president, said he had sought permission but did not get it.
However, he said some Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League men were setting up markets in the areas.
Sylhet city BCL general secretary denied the allegation but said some people were setting up the markets using their names.
While the construction of the illegal markets was going on in full swing right before the law enforcers,
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police Mohammad Rahamat Ullah said they would dismantle those on specific allegations.
He said they stopped some groups in Mendibag and nearby areas from setting up such markets.
The official added that some people were seen stopping the cattle-laden trucks coming from outside and forcing them to sell their animals at the illegal markets.
Sylhet city has only one authorised cattle market, in Kazirbazar.