Tentulia Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shohag Chandra Saha said the construction alongside rehabilitation activities for 450 landless people of the upazila started in the 2021-22 fiscal, under the special initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Ashrayan Project-2.

The local administration had worked to allocate the listed government-owned lands for the initiative, UNO Shohag said.

He further said the land of Buraburi Union is listed at “No. 1 on the government’s ledger”. Accordingly work began Tuesday morning to build houses initially for 35 landless people.

But shortly after the inauguration, BGB intervened and put a halt on the work, the UNO added.

BGB 18 Battalion’s Acting Commander Major Abu Saleh Ahmed claimed that the land had been bought by the BGB Welfare Trust.

BGB members on guard also blocked the entry of vehicles carrying bricks for construction work.

That government land was not acquired by BGB or BGB Welfare Trust. BGB Welfare Trust is a private organisation that has occupied government’s land, said the UNO Shohag.

“We did not expect a government agency’s objection to building homes for the landless,” he said, adding that the work has been suspended for the time being.

“We sought the cooperation of BGB in implementing this initiative of the Prime Minister. Hopefully after overcoming all the complications, we will be able to start working again soon.”

Chairman of Buraburi Union Tareq Hossain said some six houses had already been built on the land earlier. “The BGB Welfare Trust’s land is separate. Now after suspending work they are talking about coordination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Major Abu Saleh Ahmed, the BGB acting commander who voiced the BGB’s claim, refused to answer questions about the suspension of the Ashrayan project or ownership of the land in question when confronted by reporters.