The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, Rajuk, has demolished some parts of Ha-Meem Group Managing Director AK Azad’s Gulshan residence which reportedly built without any approved design.
The eviction was carried out as part an ongoing drive of a special taskforce -- launched after the deadly Holey Artisan terrorist attack in July of 2016 -- against illegal establishments in the upscale neighbourhood, according to the Rajuk officials.
Rajuk, the development authority of the capital, started the eviction drive at 9am Tuesday suspending traffic between the north end of Road No. 86 and Road No. 84 and between Road 87 and Road 86.
The business conglomerate AK Azad’s resident a two-storey building, house No. 1, situated on Road No. 86.
Zonal director of Rajuk Waliur Rahman and also the executive magistrate leading the mobile court, said, “The two-story house on nearly one bigha of land has no approved design.”
A section of the house including the main entrance, portions of the front boundary wall, a car garage and a balcony were torn down during the daylong drive.
In a statement, AK Azad claimed without serving any prior notice a taskforce comprising a mobile court of Rajuk and officials of different public utilities started to demolish the two-storey building in the morning with heavy equipment.
Owner of the house, AK Azad and his family members were inside the house during the drive.
In this regard, Waliur Rahman said serving prior notice was not necessary in the case of a mobile court's action and the defender in such cases has to provide legal proof on the spot.
However, Rajuk director also added that the occupants of the house had failed to provide approved design of the house when Adiluzzaman, an authorised officer concerned of Rajuk, visited the house in person last week.
He further told that they waited an hour before starting the demolition after making verbal requests to the occupants to vacate the house, adding, “As the occupants did not respond, we began knocking down the house.”
AK Azad is also the owner and publisher of Bangla-language newspaper Samakal and the satellite television channel 24.
According to the Rajuk official, the original owner, a Pakistani national, of the property had given its power of attorney to another person. Later, Azad purchased the property from that person.
The two-story building on the property was built in 1964 with an open ground where there used to be a school. The propriety is yet to be transferred in Azad's name, said an official requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, in a written statement of Ha-Meem Group, its Managing Director AK Azad said a team of Rajuk started demolishing his house with a bulldozer, claiming that he did not have any approved design for the house.
Despite showing all legal documents of the house, the team did not pay any heed, he said, adding that they knocked down a portion of the house was by 1:00pm.
He said the demolition work stopped when he showed all valid documents, including approved design and mutation, of the house to the chairman of Rajuk.
AK Azad is the managing director of the country's leading conglomerate Ha-Meem Group that owns two media outlets. He was a president of apex business association Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.