Demo for Sundarbans foiled, 6 held

Scene from Dhaka’s Paribagh area where law enforcers thwarted ‘Save Sundarbans’ activists marching towards Prime Minister’s Office demanding scrap of the Rampal coal-fired power plant in the heritage site and the world’s largest mangrove forest. Photo: Rashed Shumon

Police today foiled a march towards Prime Minister’s Office protesting the Rampal power plant during ‘Save Sundarbans’ demonstration in Dhaka.

Six people have been picked up from the spot, Abu Bakar Siddique, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station, told The Daily Star.

The programme arranged by National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources, Port and Power was thwarted with teargas shells and batons.

‘Save Sundarbans’ activists tearing away at a police barricade near Shishu Park on July 28, 2016, during a march to Prime Minister’s Office protesting Rampal coal-fired power plant. Photo: Rashed Shumon

Ignoring repeated protests from green activists, environmentalists and political parties, Bangladesh government inked an agreement with India to build the coal-fired plant in the world’s largest mangrove forest.

In order to press for the cause, the national committee held a short gathering at Jatiya Press Club and then began their march towards the PMO this morning.

Two layers of barricades were torn apart – near Shishu Park and at Shahbagh – before police put an end to the march at Paribagh. Several rounds of teargas shells were lobbed and clubs charged.

A ‘Save Sundarbans’ activist wielding a placard with writing “Mother is more than a friend!” during a march to PMO programme on July 28, 2016. Photo: Rashed Shumon

Baki BIllah, a student leader and Bangladesh Chhatra Union’s former president, told The Daily Star that police used batons and teargas shells. “16 of our activists have been hospitalised.”




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