Land grabbing by a group of people associated with the ruling party was rampant in Ghoraghat and UNO Wahida Khanam, who also acted as the assistant commissioner of land, became a problem for them, locals said.
A gang led by some local Jubo league leaders is behind the land grabbing and a top leader of Ghoraghat Awami League backs them, residents said, requesting anonymity.
“The entire Ghoraghat upazila is a safe haven for land grabbers,” said Municipality Mayor Abdus Sattar Milon.
The post of assistant commissioner (AC) land in the upazila has been vacant for the last 25 years, and Wahida was in charge of it since she joined in September 2018.
Wahida’s strict dealing of land issues may have angered the land grabbers, the mayor told The Daily Star.
Faruk Siddiqui, a resident of Koroni area of the municipality, said UNO Wahida helped him sell five bighas of land he almost lost to grabbers. He sold it for Tk 20 lakh.
He added that land grabbers led by a top Jubo League leader attempted several times to grab his land in the last one year and his family members were attacked by the gang several times.
This must have angered some people, he said.
Wahida and her father Sheikh Omar Ali were seriously injured in an attack at her official residence early Thursday.
Rab officials said later that day that a suspect admitted to breaking into the house to steal valuables.
Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Mahmudul Alam yesterday said the attack on Wahida was aimed at killing her.
“What is burglary? Nothing has gone missing there,” he said, adding, “The assailants had been at the house for almost three and a half hours. Why would they hit wahida and her father with a hammer?”
DEMAND FOR JUSTICE
Government employees in Ghoraghat formed a human chain in front of the upazila parishad office yesterday demanding exemplary punishment of the attackers. They also stressed that it was not an incident of burglary.
Meanwhile, a Senior Judicial Magistrate Court placed Asadul Haq, an accused in the case filed over the attack, on a seven-day remand yesterday afternoon.
The two other accused, Nabirul Islam and Santu Das, were placed on remand on Saturday. They are being interrogated at the detective branch office in Dinajpur.
Police reportedly arrested three other people in connection with the incident, but the news had not been confirmed.
‘NO NEED TO SEND HER ABROAD’
Health Minister Zahid Maleque yesterday said there is no need to send UNO Wahida abroad for treatment, UNB reports.
“Observing Wahida’s condition, it appears she doesn’t need to be sent abroad right now. Doctors at the National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital are taking good care of her. A decision in this regard will be taken later, if needed,” said the minister.
The health minister made the observation while talking to reporters at the hospital.
“The 72-hour observation by the doctors at the hospital will end on Monday [today] morning and no symptom of any infection has been reported yet. The patient is undergoing treatment under good management and everything is going well. Everything needed for her treatment will be provided,” he said.
The minister went on, saying, “UNO Wahida talked to me and I think her condition is better now. Eight doctors successfully operated on her for two and a half hours and the right side of her injured body is still paralysed. Doctors said it will be cured with physical therapy.”