Pro-Jamat Group Asked to Vacate Suchitra Sen's Home

Anisur Rahman/Dhaka
Pro-Jamat Group Asked to Vacate Suchitra Sen's Home

Bangladesh's Supreme Court today cleared hurdles to turn legendary Indian actress Suchitra Sen's ancestral home in northwestern Pabna into a museum as it ordered authorities to evict a pro-Jamaat-e-Islami group from the premises.

A bench headed by Supreme Court Justice S K Sinha issued the order, dismissing a plea by the Jamat-backed Imam Gazzali Institute to retain the possession of the home at Hem Sagar Lane in Pabna city in Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh.

"According to the verdict, there is no hurdle in setting up an archive on Suchitra Sen and conserve her ancestral home" as a museum as demanded by cross-section of people in Pabna, Additional Attorney General Murad Reza told reporters.

He added that the Jamaat-backed institute must now vacate the home, now being used as a school, as the government is now armed with an order to evict it immediately.

Sen's father built the home in the pre-partition period and she spent her childhood and adolescent period in this home before moving to Kolkata after marriage.

The legendary actress was born in Pabna on April 6, 1931 and died on January 17 in Kolkata at the age of 83.

The High Court in August 2011 ordered the Jamaat-backed Imam Ghazali Trust to vacate the home, which was leased out to it by the government in 1987. But the trust challenged the judgment in the apex court seeking to retain its possession.

The district administration of Pabna earlier in 2009 scrapped the lease amid mounting demands by cultural activists and residents of the town to evict Jamaat from the house and convert it into a museum.

The trust at that time, however, obtained a stay order against eviction. The High Court on July 26, 2012 ordered the government to occupy the house within seven days following a petition by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.

The Appellate Division stayed the High Court order the next day based on a plea by institute's principal.

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