Monthly Archives: November 2011

Bangladesh approves Hindu property restoration act

The Bangladeshi parliament has passed a landmark bill that will enable the return of property seized from the country’s Hindu minority.

The land was taken under a controversial law enacted in the 1960s.

It was implemented by the East Pakistan administration before Bangladesh became independent in 1971.

The law, initially known as the Enemy Property Act, allowed the authorities to take over land and buildings of Hindus who migrated to India.

Under its terms, property belonging to millions of Hindus who fled to India was confiscated.

The law came into effect in 1965 when Pakistan and India fought a brief war.

The act was renamed as the Vested Properties Act after independence.

The Vested Properties Return (Amendment) Bill 2011 now enables Hindus to reclaim their property taken over by the government and individuals.

“There are some good provisions but it doesn’t go far enough to address our demand that all the properties seized or taken over until recently should be returned to their rightful owners,” Supreme Court lawyer Subrata Chowdhury told the BBC.


Hindu community leaders say that even after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the law was still used to discriminate against them.

Human rights groups and civil society activists have long urged successive governments to repeal the act.

The governing Awami League made an electoral promise in 2008 that confiscated properties would be given back to the original owners.

Experts say that while the changes to the law are welcome, it will be impossible to return all the land because some of it was confiscated more than 40 years ago.

Most of it appears to have been taken over by Muslims with links to the main political parties.

The government says that it will soon publish a list of properties that were seized. It that any Hindus wanting to make a claim will have 90 days to do so.

It is estimated by one prominent academic that about 400 to 500 Hindu people are migrating daily from Bangladesh.

Professor Abul Barkat told the BBC that if the current rate continues, Bangladesh will no longer have a Hindu community in 25 years’ time.

Canadian business, investment to grow in Bangladesh

Canada is exploring ways to increase and diversify investment and business cooperation with Bangladesh, which currently enjoys duty-free access to Canada for its exports, mainly textiles. “In an international survey by Japan Bank for International Cooperation in the year Bangladesh … read more

DCC split protesters clash with cops

Staff of Dhaka City Corporation clashed with police in front of the Nagar Bhaban in the city yesterday when police attempted to foil their protest against splitting the DCC into two parts.   Wounded in the clash, four policemen and … read more

Matia says:Govt in tune with rice price sensitivity

The government has full knowledge of Aman and Boro production, existing price of rice and paddy, and is in tune with the interest of the farmers, agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury said on Saturday. Addressing a policy dialogue on ‘Rice and … read more

Dhaka to go to Int’l court if needed: Minister

Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen said on Saturday Bangladesh will go to international courts, if necessary, to settle the Tipaimukh Dam issue for the country’s existence.   As a friendly country, Bangladesh trusts India, the minister said.   “But … read more

KFC Super League kicks off

State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Dr. Shireen Sharmin (3rd from R) speaks during the opening ceremony of the KFC Women’s Super League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur. Jessore got off to a winning start … read more

Khaleda leading 3rd road march

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is leading the party’s third road march towards Khulna from the capital on Saturday, aiming to drum up public support for reinstating the caretaker government system.   Khaleda, leader of the opposition in the House, set … read more

Police event draws more than 150 people

AMMANFORD Neighbourhood Policing Team staged a successful multi-cultural event on Sunday at the Aman Centre. The event brought together more than 150 people from diverse backgrounds and ethnic origins to improve community engagement and cohesion. Those present included representatives from … read more