Some local influential are allegedly trying to grab a land belonging to the Catholic diocese in Sylhet.
On Monday morning, some of their hired goons intruded into the property in Porgonabazar area of Sylhet Sadar upazila and threatened the staffers of the church, said witnesses.
They also uprooted around 50 trees planted marking Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary and demanded Tk 25 lakh.
The Catholic community in Sylhet is perturbed by such intimidation and the staff members and workers of the diocese are now living amid fear. They have also asked police for protection.
According to the bishop's office, a total of 2.45 acres of land were bought during 2013-2015 to build a school, clinic and other structures, adjacent to the bishop's residence and office.
But over the years, a group of land grabbers supported by local miscreants are eyeing the land, said office staffers.
Following Monday's incident, Father Saroj Costa, office in-charge of the Sylhet Catholic Diocese at the bishop's office, filed a case with Shahporan Police Station, accusing 19 named and several unnamed persons.
That very night, police arrested two accused -- Azizur Rahman of Khunirchak and Israil Ali of Kallagram -- in Sylhet Sadar upazila.
Sub-inspector Ripton Purkayastha, the case's investigation officer, said, "The accused have been sent to jail after they appeared before a court on September 22."
Meanwhile, local businessman Israk Ali, the prime accuse in the case, has still not been arrested.
Contacted yesterday, he said the land belonged to him and his family for years and hung up. His number was found switched off afterwards.
Asked, police said they were trying to arrest all the accused.
Meanwhile, Bishop Bejoy N D'Cruze, chief of Sylhet Catholic Diocese, wrote a letter to the police commissioner (Sylhet) on Monday requesting security and protection for them and the property.
Jyotirmoy Sarkar, additional deputy commissioner (media) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police, said, "We've taken the matter very seriously. We will beef up security now."
Mentionable in 2017, some people filed a partition suit/title suit claiming their right over the land.
They also filed for injunction over the land in 2019, which was later dismissed by the Additional District Judge of Sylhet following investigation reports of Shahporan Police Station and later of the assistant commissioner (land) of Sylhet.