Bangladesh: Awami League man captures Old Dhaka heritage building, including a Hindu temple

A local Swechchashebak League leader has allegedly captured a heritage building in Shankhari Bazar in Old Dhaka, which also houses a temple.

Locals say Debashish Biswas, the president of Dhaka Metropolitan Swechchashebak League (South), threatened the residents out of the building and took possession illegally.

The second floor of the building houses a temple to the Hindu god Kala Chand Deb. In other parts at least 10 families were living before the forced eviction, among them the temple’s priest Bijay Bhattacharya.

Shankhari Bazar has 142 heritage buildings protected by a 2009 law. This building, number 14, is one of them.

Bijay Bhattacharya said the temple was an endowed property. “We have served this temple for generations. My father was a priest here, and then my elder brother.”

“Debashish has been looking for me for several days. Last Monday he got hold of my brother and issued threats and gave him some money and told him we would have to leave the building,” he said.

“He is an influential man. We can’t go against him and stay here,” Bhattacharya said…