Some 250 illegal establishments on the banks of the Bakkhali River were demolished in a joint drive in Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday, reports UNB.
However, encroachers allegedly tried to carry out attacks on journalists when they were capturing images and taking video footage of the drive.
A mobile court led by the district’s additional magistrate Md Abu Sufian launched the drive in Kasturghat end of the river in Maheskhali upazila around 10.00am.
Several teams of the Department of Environment, forest department, BIWTA and law enforcing agencies assisted the magistrate in conducting the drive which continued till 4.00pm.
The mobile court demolished around 250 illegal establishments on the banks of the river and removed several hundreds of poles placed in the river for encroaching.
On the other hand, a group of encroachers allegedly led by Maheshkhali’s Shaplapur Union Parishad Chairman Abdul Khaleque tried to attack the journalists and snatch their cameras when they were taking images of the drive around 2.00pm.
Dipak Sharma Dipu, president of Cox’s Bazar Forest and Environment Preservation Council, said environmentalists had been staging a movement to free the river from the encroachers for a long time.
Welcoming the drive, he said all illegal establishments will have to be evicted from the river to make it free from the encroachers; otherwise the water body won’t be brought back to its previous shape.