Unitex Group Director (Legal and Estate) Farhan Ahmed, 55, has been granted bail in a case of encroachment of forest land on the Sitakunda coast of Chattogram.

Judge Fardin Mostakim Tasin of Chattogram Fifth Judicial Magistrate Court gave the order on Monday (17 July) afternoon.

Chattogram Forest Court Public Prosecutor Advocate Rabi Shankar confirmed the matter to The Business Standard.

Mohammad Nazim Uddin Chowdhury, a lawyer for the accused and president of Chattogram Lawyers Association, said, “We have managed to make the court understand that the land from which the soil was being excavated was private and not forest land. Besides, we have told the court that it is not true that a director of an industrial group excavated soil. Considering the overall situation, the court granted him bail.”

Two more accused in this case were granted bail on Sunday, he added.

On Sunday, a team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Farhan Ahmed from his house in Goachi Bagan area under Chawkbazar police station of the city. Later on Monday morning, he was handed over to the Sitakunda Model police station.

Earlier, on 6 June, the Coastal Forest Department filed a case in Chattogram Forest Court accusing six people including two top officials of Unitex. They were accused of illegal encroachment and illegal encroachment of forest land in Sitakunda’s Barabakunda, attempt to forcefully construct a dam in the forest land and excavate the soil under the Forest Act, 1927 (as amended in 2000).

On 25 June, the Forest Department officials submitted the POR (Prosecution Offense Report) of the case. Later, the court issued an arrest warrant against the six accused in the case. Unitex Director (Legal and Estate) Farhan Ahmed was made the prime accused in the case.

 

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