A zamindar mansion taken over by drug runners

A place that could have been an attractive destination for archaeology and history enthusiasts has turned into a den of antisocial elements.

The derelict mansion, built in a bygone era by the then Nawdanga zamindar, in Nawdanga union of Kurigram’s Phulbari upazila, is now a safe haven for drug dealers and addicts — thanks to the indifference of law enforcers and government departments concerned.

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Without any routine patrol or raid by law enforcers in the area, drug trade and abuse continues in the abandoned building openly, almost all throughout the day till late at night, said locals.   

They also said that they are too afraid to report the illegal activity in the building to the police as the latter never take action against the criminals who are well-known for their involvement in drugs trade in the area.

Requesting not to be named, a resident of the area said those who buy and sell drugs in the building are affluent and politically influential.

Although the increased availability of drugs in the area has been a great concern for most law-abiding citizens and parents in the locality, the police are quizzically turning a blind eye to the crime, he also alleged.

Nawdanga Union Parishad Chairman Musabber Ali Musa said many people from different parts of the country visit the historical Nawdanga Zamindar mansion every day and they unfortunately get a negative impression of the locality after finding empty Phensedyl bottles and other drug paraphernalia lying strewn in the building.

He had informed the police of the matter more than once, but they did not yet take any action, he alleged, adding that the police need to step up and protect the historical zamindar mansion as well as ensure peace and security of citizens. 

Abu Zafar, assistant director of Department of Narcotics Control in Kurigram claimed that he was not aware of the situation.

Although they cannot always raid drug dens due to limited work force and transportation, they would soon take necessary action against the drug dealers at the Nawdanga zamindar mansion, he added.

Contacted, Phulbari Police Station Officer-in-Charge Rajib Kumar Roy admitted that the entire upazila of Phulbari is facing drug problem.

He also said that they would go into immediate action against the illicit drug trade at the mansion.