October 6, 2023
DHAKA – A wholesale kitchen market is being constructed on land of Tangail Girls’ High School, ignoring protests by the school’s students, their parents, and locals.
Visiting the school in Tangail town recently, this correspondent found the boundary wall on the west side of the school to be demolished already for the market’s construction.
The students and their parents protested the construction inside the school by holding meetings, gatherings, and human chains.
They alleged that Kudrat E Elahi Khan, president of the school’s management committee and vice-president of Tangail district unit AL, is building the market inside the school compound.
Earlier, the district administration organised a public hearing on the school premises, where students, guardians, and civil society representatives demanded a stop to the construction. Later, the work remained halted for a few days before being resumed recently.
“The school’s managing committee has decided to build the four-story building, where a market will be accommodated on the first two floors and classrooms and halls will be on the top two floors,” said Jahangir Hossain, headteacher of the school.
He mentioned that the school has about 1,100 students. “We need to increase classrooms and build a hall. The municipality approved the building’s design, and allotment of shops has begun at Tk 20 lakh.”
Students said if shops are built on school compound, their safety and movements will be at risk.
“It is incomprehensible how a kitchen market is accommodated inside a girls’ school. No matter who is behind this, we will not allow them to do this,” said Mehernigar Hossain Tanmoy, a former student of the school and publicity secretary of the central unit of Awami Mohila League.
“To protect the school, we want the president of the managing committee and the headteacher to resign,” said Shohidul Islam, parent of a student.
Contacted, Kudrat E Elahi said the market is being built for the interest of the institution.
Kaisarul Islam, deputy commissioner of Tangail, said, “The administration has not given any permission to construct the market. Necessary measures will be taken in this regard.”