District administration takes over Benazir’s Savanna Eco Resort

Former IGP Benazir and his family established the Savanna Eco Resort and Natural Park, forcefully buying the land from the minority community in Gopalganj Sadar upazilaSavanna

The Gopalganj district administration has taken control of the Savanna Eco Resort and Natural Park owned by the former inspector general of police Benazir Ahmed and his family. Benazir Ahmed, who is currently outside the country, faces allegations of illegally amassing wealth.

The district administration and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) announced the takeover through PA announcement in front of the resort’s main entrance at 11:00pm on Friday. As a result, district administration will exercise the authority of the property from today, Saturday as per the court order.

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Gopalganj Sadar assistant commissioner (land) Bably Shabnam said, “I have been present here to execute the order of the Gopalganj district administration and the order has been put in place, and from now on, the district administration is the caretaker of this property.”

ACC’s Gopalganj office deputy director md Mashiur Rhaman said, “Lists of all movable and immovable properties will be prepared and signboards will be hung on today, Saturday. After that, all park operations will continue at the instructions of the district administration and, the deputy commissioner will decide all matters including income and expenditure, manpower recruitment and visitors’ entry.”

People also gathered near the park during the takeover announcement with many being seen cheering.

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Local resident Badal Bal, 50, said, “We are very happy for the deputy commissioner taking over the part. We hope that now we would go to our lands and ponds using the government roads.”

According to the ACC, Benazir Ahmed built the Savanna Eco Resort and Natural Park on 621 bighas of land in Bairagitol upazila in Sadar upazila while he was the director general of Rapid Action Battalion from 2015 to 2020 and inspector general of police from 2020 to 2022.

Locals claimed members of Hindu community owned the lands and they were forced, threatened and tricked into selling their lands, A significant portion of the lands were even grabbed. The ACC, however, opened probe following the media reports on Benazir’s wealth. Later, the court ordered to seize Benazir’s and his family’s properties including Savanna Eco Resort and Natural Park.