Honourable General Moeen U Ahmed, ndc, psc
Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army
Subject: An appeal from global Oikyo Parishad to repeal the Enemy/ Vested property Act
Honourable General Moeen:
As you may be well aware of the fact that in the past 40 years minorities of Bangladesh have been dispossessed of more than 2.5 millions acres of land properties through a government scheme called the Enemy Property Act, a discriminatory act by the Government against its own citizens. This discriminatory law in its 40 years of existence has affected millions of Hindus in Bangladesh. The Defence of Pakistan Rules branding Hindu citizens of the country as the enemy was enacted by Pakistan during its war with India in 1965. But with a twist of irony, that infamous decree found its way to become an instrument of persecution in the independent Bangladesh. Bangladesh fought a heroic war against Pakistan and earned its independence, meaning Bangladesh is neither a part nor a successor of Pakistan since March 26, 1971. Also neither Bangladesh nor India waged or declared any war against each other. Therefore, how enemy of Pakistan becomes enemy of Bangladesh Or is Bangladesh after gaining independence with the direct military help of India remains at a state of war with India Therefore we request you to use your immense influence on the current administration to repeal this discriminatory law and help the minorities regain their lost rights.
The Vested Property Act is violation of the Constitution of Bangladesh. The following articles will be very much relevant to explain how this Act is anti-constitutional:
Article 11: Democracy and human rights
The Republic shall be a democracy in which fundamental human rights and freedoms and respect for the dignity and worth of the human person shall be guaranteed and in which effective participation by the people through their elected representatives in administration at all levels shall be ensured.
Article 13: Principles of ownership
The people shall own or control the instruments and means of production and distribution, and with this end in view ownership shall assume the following forms-
state ownership, ownership by State on behalf of the people through nationalized public sector embracing the key sectors of the economy;
operative ownership, that is ownership by co-operatives on behalf of its members
Private ownership, that is ownership by individuals
Article 27: Equality before law
All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.
Article 28: Discrimination on grounds of religion, etc
(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race caste, sex or place of birth.
(2) Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life.
(3) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to any place of public entertainment or resort, or admission to any educational institution.
(4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making special provision in favour of women or children or for the advancement of any backward section of citizens.
Thus the vested property act with all its attributes is a gross violation of all the above stated articles of Bangladesh Constitution.
Vested Property Act, as an encroachment on the law of inheritance of Enemy Property should be abolished. More so, the context under which the Enemy Property Act emerged, ceases from the date of proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh in 1971, and there exists a Friendship Treaty with India.
A list containing details (name, address, amount of land and other assets dispossessed by type and year of dispossession, dag, khatian, mouza, current status etc.) of those affected by EPA/VPA should be published by the Government of Bangladesh.
All activities related to the identification and enlistment of any property as vested should be banned, immediately. In this regard, a declaration in the mass media should be the immediate action of the democratic government.
All vested property under the custody of the government should be leased out to real owners or their legal heirs who are permanent residents of Bangladesh till the final settlement of the problem. In this regard preference should be assigned in accordance with the law of inheritance.
No property should be taken to the custody of the vested property administration if the owners of the property of their legal inheritors (co-shares) are in possession of that property.
All 99 years leases of vested properties should be declared null and void and the ownership rights of the original owners or their inheritors (co-sharers) should be established if they are the bona-fide citizens of Bangladesh.
All vested deity property and places of cremation should be unvested and brought under public trust. The leased-out or sold-out properties belonging to this category should be declared void.
Law of inheritance should be enforced with an adequate provision for women inheritance. If the male heirs of the property are absent and the females are permanently resident in Bangladesh, the property should be leased out to them (women) until a final settlement is made.
A detail case study of the Enemy Property Act was done & reported by Dr. Abul Barakat in his publications. A report will be found in www.bhbcuc-usa.org on the topic at report section. Thank you in advance.
Ratan Barua, Nabendu Dutta, Thomas Roy, Sushil Saha, Pradip Das, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA; Udayan Barua, Amarendra Roy, Samir Das, Europe; Sujit Sen, Mrinal Sarker, Dr. Santayan, UK; Arun Barua, Switzerland; Manik Paul, Belgium; Henry DeCosta, Italy; Swapan Roy, Germany; Tarun Chowdhury, Sweden; Dr. Samir Sarker, Australia; Pradip Sarker, Montreal; Saroj Das, Canada; Kirit Sinha, Toronto; Ranjan Palit & Bikash Roy, Holland and other members.
BANGLADESH HINDU BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN UNITY COUNCIL
Ratan Barua, Nabendu Dutta, Thomas Roy, Sushil Saha, Pradip Das, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA; Udayan Barua, Amarendra Roy, Samir Das, Europe; Sujit Sen, Mrinal Sarker, Dr. Santayan, UK; Arun Barua, Switzerland; Manik Paul, Belgium; Henry DeCosta, Italy; Swapan Roy, Germany; Tarun Chowdhury, Sweden; Dr. Samir Sarker, Australia; Pradip Sarker, Montreal; Saroj Das, Canada; Kirit Sinha, Toronto; Ranjan Palit & Bikash Roy, Holland and other members. Contact:
Sitangshu Guha. 646-696-5569. firstname.lastname@example.org;
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