Tetultala playground has been allotted for police and now it is their property, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said .
"Since the allotment has been made, this place belongs to Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) now," said he while responding to questions from reporters after a meeting with some environmental activists on Wednesday.
The decision regarding construction of a police station at an alternative place instead of Tetultala ground in the city's Kalabagan area will be taken after discussions with the Prime Minister, he said.
He will also discuss with the DMP Commissioner about stopping the construction of wall at the playground.
The environmental activists came to the secretariat seeking steps to arrange an alternative place for police station construction and stopping wall construction.
After the meeting, Khushi Kabir, rights activist and a coordinator of 'Nijera Kori' told reporters, "We wanted to stop what is going on here."
"He (Home Minister) has said that he will discuss. He will discuss the matter with the Prime Minister," she added.
Meanwhile, the Home Minister said Tetultala was not a playground and it was a vacant and an abandoned property. "Our new police stations in Dhaka city work mostly in rented houses. Our police force is facing various difficulties for this reason."
"That's why we asked the Deputy Commissioner (DC) to see whether any place can be allotted at Kalabagan by acquiring land," he said.
The DC then allotted Tetultala playground after seeing it and talking to public representatives.
"DMP has also deposited the money and the DC later handed it over to the DMP. This is the main thing," said the minister.
"We heard children in this area used to play here. But we are clear, we need space, we also need a police station building at Kalabagan."
He also said, "If the mayor or anyone else can arrange a better place, we will make other arrangement of building a police station."
But this is the specific place for the police station, this is what the government has arranged, he added.
Replying to a question, the Home Minister said, "Whether the construction work of the police station will continue or not will be decided later."
So for now, there is no playground, the Home Minister said.
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) chief executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan said, "The home minister also feels the same for the playground like us. But they have paid Tk 27 crore for the land."
"Then we said that the money goes to the government treasury. There are more abandoned places in that area," she added.
The environment activists further said they will all sign and submit a letter to the Prime Minister. They also requested the minister to handover it to the Prime Minister and the minister assured them of handing it over to the PM.
Earlier, Ratna and her son were detained by police when she was live-streaming the construction of a boundary wall at the playground on Facebook around 11am on Sunday.
However, police freed Syeda Ratna and her son, nearly 13 hours after their detention on charges of "spreading hate speech" as she protested the construction of a police station on the playground at Kalabagan.
Different environmental organizations on Monday demanded an impartial inquiry into the detention of local resident Syeda Ratna and her son for protesting against the construction of a police station.
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