A youth was killed as a soil-carrying tractor overturned in Chouddopai area in Rajshahi city early today.

The tractor was illegally moving soil dug up from Rajshahi University (RU) campus, Sub-inspector of Motihar Police Station Imran Hossain told The Daily Star.

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The deceased was identified as Md Meraj (28) of Kismat Kukhand village of Katakhali area.

SI Imran said when the tractor reached Chouddopai Fire Service area around 3:30am, it skidded and overturned on the road.

On Saturday, the RU authorities, in presence of the university Vice Chancellor prof M Abdus Sobhan, held a meeting with the contractors where the latter agreed to stop illegal soil lifting.

Over the accident, Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Anand Kumar Saha, RU agriculture project advisor panel chairman, told The Daily Star today that those contractors were not supposed to take away soil, as they reached an agreement on Saturday.

“We will discuss and take further action against them,” our RU correspondent reports quoting the pro-VC.

University agriculture project sources said, following a tender last year, the authorities leased out some lands to two local contractors for four years to excavate pond. But they are not entitled to move or sell the soil dug up from the campus.

The contractors — Masud Rana, brother of a local Awami League leader, and Ohona Traders, owned by Dablu Sarker, general secretary of Rajshahi city AL — had been selling huge amount of soil illegally from RU for a month, defying order of the authorities.

It was not known immediately for which contractor the victim was working for, police said.

The university authorities did not take any effective steps against them in one month. Following Saturday’s meeting, the authorities once again asked the contractors not to take away soil, but did not take any legal action.

When contacted, RU Registrar Prof Md Abdus Salam declined to comment when he was asked why no action was taken so far and what will be the next course of action.

VC M Abdus Sobhan could not be reached for comments over the phone.


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