Cultural activists and cyclists called on authorities to reclaim the residence of Ramnath Biswas, a Bangladeshi who travelled the world on his bicycle in the 1930's, from "illegal occupation" and establish a library and cycle museum there.
The call was made at a bicycle rally, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Tuesday, in front of Ramnath's Baniachong house in Habiganj town where hundreds of cyclists and cultural activists participated.
Habiganj Deputy Commissioner Ishrat Jahan inaugurated the cycle procession in the morning.
Born in Bidya Bhushan Para of Baniachong village in Habiganj on 13 January 1894, Ramnath moved to Kolkata permanently after partition in 1947. He died there on 1 November 1955.
Ramnath Biswas, who travelled the world three times on his bicycle, also penned more than 30 travel books.
After Ramnath's death, his house at Baniachong was abandoned for a long time. In the 1980s, the house on 4 acres 48 decimal area began to be inhabited by one Abdul Wahed Mia. The house has been in his possession since.
Abdul Waheed Mia said he purchased the house and has all the documents.
"I don't know if this is Ramnath's house. I don't even know him," he said.
Allama Didar, who participated in the rally from Dhaka, said, "Ramnath showed the world how to travel by bicycle. But the present generation does not know him. His house is occupied by illegal occupants today. We want his house to be freed and turned into a bicycle museum and library."
Ashrafuzzaman Ujjal, convenor of Ramnath's residence reclaiming and conservation committee, demanded that 13 January, Ramnath's birth anniversary, be declared as Ramnath Day.
Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) Ishrat Jahan Urmi said the documents of the house are already being reviewed. After the review, the next process will start.