The chairman of Chandpur's Laxmipur union, also the Awami League president of the union unit, embezzled Tk359 crore from the government during the land acquisition for the Chandpur Science and Technology University, an investigation has found.
The investigation conducted on 6 April by a joint team of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Integrated District Office and Assistant Director of Cumilla Rafi Md Nazmus Sadat revealed that allegations of graft against Chairman Selim Khan were true.
According to media reports, a group of influential people bought nearly 62.5 acres of land chosen for the proposed university at 20 times more than the actual price.
It was alleged that Chairman Selim Khan was involved in the land acquisition process and was set to pocket Tk359 crore from the government, reads a press release.
He is also accused of illegal dredging in the Meghna River and selling sand, causing the government to lose thousands of crores of taka.
Following the allegations, the investigations into the matter began.
The investigation team reviewed all the collected data and visited the locations of the Chandpur Science and Technology and the river.
A report in this regard will be submitted to the anti-graft commission soon, reads the statement.
In 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had pledged to set up a science and technology university.
On 9 September 2020, the Chandpur Science and Technology University bill was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad.
Later, the education ministry gave administrative approval for the land acquisition and the site was selected after the ministry's permission.
On 4 May 2021, the district land acquisition committee decided to acquire the needed land.
In 2019, per decimal of land in the area selected for the university was only Tk24,000, but it jumped to over Tk4 lakh in 2021. Even the land adjacent to the university site now costs around Tk1 lakh per decimal.