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Plot allocation ACC to quiz Shajahan, Abbas Oct 12

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 Staff Reporter The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) will quiz Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and former Housing and Public Works Minister Mirza Abbas on October 12 next in connection with a 7-acre land in the city allocated for journalists during the previous BNP government. The Commission on Monday sent letters, signed by its deputy director Jatan Kumar Roy, to Shajahan Khan and Mirza Abbas asking them to be present at the ACC head office on October 12, ACC source said. On March 6, 2014, the ACC filed a case against four people, including former State Minister for Housing and Public Works Alamgir Kabir, for allegedly allocating plots for journalists violating rules that cost the government a loss of Tk 15 crore. The ACC yesterday also interrogated former chairman of the National Housing Authority (NHA) Golam Nabi in connection with the alleged irregularities. ACC investigation officer Jatan Kumar Roy said Shajahan Khan was the president of ‘Jhilmil Cooperatives’, which earlier took the land on lease from the government and later it was leased out to Dhaka Journalists Cooperatives Limited. “As the Shipping Minister was the president of Jhilmil Cooperatives at that time, the ACC will take his statement to know how the land was allocated for journalists canceling their earlier lease,” he said. BNP leader Mirza Abbas will be questioned as he was the Housing and Public Works Minister when the land was leased out to journalists. According to the case statement, former junior minister Alamgir Kabir sent a latter to the then Prime Minister in 2002 with a request for building a housing area for journalists, writers, artistes and cultural activists without receiving any application from them. In response, the then Prime Minister sent the letter to the Housing and Public Works secretary asking him to take steps in this regard following the rules. As it was under process, Alamgir directed the Housing and Public Works secretary to allocate it from a previously designed housing land. Without taking permission from the ministry, the accused NHA officials for their personal gains allocated seven acres of land in the city’s Mirpur area for the Dhaka Journalists Cooperatives Limited at only Tk 3.39 crore against the market value of Tk 19 crore, violating the housing policy 1993 (amended).