12:00 AM, November 25, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 25, 2012

Non-stop hartal in Phulbari

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Star Report

National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports will enforce a daylong hartal for the second consecutive day today in Phulbari upazila of Dinajpur.
Addressing a rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the city yesterday, Prof Anu Mohammad, member secretary of the committee, said they will hold countrywide demonstrations to realise their demands.
Meanwhile, another platform “Orajnoitik Mancha” yesterday declared to enforce hartal in the upazila for an indefinite period from today. The platform is led by Phulbari municipality Mayor Md Manik Sarker, also president of Phulbari Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Both the organisations are protesting the government's decision to let British firm Asia Energy resume its survey of the coal mine area.
During yesterday's daylong hartal, several thousand people blocked the Dinajpur-Dhaka highway and burnt tyres in different areas of the upazila since 6:00am. The blockade halted traffic on the road, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.
The committee called the hartal in protest at the imposition of Section 144 by the local administration to foil its Friday's protest rally in Phulbari.
Train service between several northern and southern districts and Dhaka remained suspended for half an hour from 10:00am as the demonstrators blocked the railway tracks near Phulbari Railway Station by felled trees.
All the educational institutions, business establishments and most shops remained closed during hartal hours.
Additional police have been deployed at different places in the upazila to maintain law and order, said assistant super of Dinajpur police.
Talking to BBC Bangla Service, member of the national committee SM Abdullah Nuruzzaman said no one from the government have contacted them as yet. Even none has clarified why the Section 144 has been imposed there.
Prof Anu Mohammad said they were ready for talks with the government on the issue.

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