Case filed against UNHCR seeking Tk 2.03 crore compensation – National –

A case has been filed against the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with a Cox’s Bazar court seeking Tk 2.03 crore compensation.

Haji Quader Hossain, a resident of Islambad area under Teknaf Municipality in the district, lodged the case with the court of Joint District and Sessions Acting Judge Mahmudul Hasan on November 9.

The Chief of the UNHCR’s Cox’s Bazar sub-office and Chief of the UNHCR’s representative office in Dhaka have been made the accused in the case.

Besides, Deputy Commissioner of the district, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) and Teknaf UNO were also made confrontational accused on behalf of the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, a local supervising government authority of the UNHCR.

The court took the case into cognizance and ordered to issue a notice against the accused, said the plaintiff’s lawyer Muhammad Akhter Uddin Helali.

According to the case statement, a letter signed by Kevin J Alan, official concerned at the UNHCR’s Cox’s Bazar sub-office, was sent to Haji Quader on September 10, 2018 expressing an interest to make a contract to lease a plot along with two buildings owned by him.

It was mentioned in the letter that a ‘structural security assessment work’ of the two buildings have to be completed by a government recognised engineering institution within one month. If the buildings is proved fit for technologically use, the UNHCR will make a contract for renting the plot for one year. The contract will be renewed after completion of the term.

After being proved fit in the test, a letter signed by Elizabeth Palester on behalf of the UNHCR was sent to Haji Quader on October 31, 2018 where the organisation subsequently made an agreement to rent the house.

Later, the UNHCR foreign officer Sarul sent him an e-mail and told him to talk to the officials of the sub-office on November 5.

Haji Quader said he believed in the e-mail and talked with the officials. Later, he served a notice on the tenants to vacate the place.

He used to receive Tk 4 lakh rent from the both buildings per month, while Tk 60,000 from a garage built on the premises.

He also spent Tk 48 lakh to buy a piece of land to decorate the buildings and surroundings and make an alternative road. Of the amount, Tk 30 lakh was taken as loan from a bank.

He also spent Tk 4.35 lakh to fill a pond for widening a walkway and dismantling the installments of the garage worth Tk 3.80 lakh.

In the meantime, foreign officer Sarun gave him assurances on several occasions in signing the contract. But, the UNHCR suddenly started dilly-dallying in this regard, Haji Quader alleged.

Surprisingly on March 31 this year,  the UNHCR officials concerned declined to sign any contract saying that they had not “enough budget to do so.”

He summed up the total losses of Tk 2.03 crore which include Tk 32 lakh for rent of two buildings for two years, Tk 4.60 lakh for rent of the garage, Tk 48 lakh for purchase of the piece of land, Tk 4.35 lakh for filling up the pond, Tk 3.80 lakh for installation cost of the garage, Tk 4.20 lakh for interest on the bank loan, Tk 7.40 lakh for renovation work of two buildings and Tk 1 crore for defamation to the plaintiff.


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