Criticising several government policies, some eminent citizens yesterday called for unity irrespective of political affiliations and mass protests against the Rampal power plant project and demanded immediate release of Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna.
The coal-based plant will be “very much harmful for the Sundarbans ecosystem” and if not cancelled, “the mass movement will topple the government”, said one of them, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President ASM Abdur Rab. He was addressing a meeting the oikya organised in the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said, “Manna is known as a politician with a clean image, but the government kept him detained for the last 18 months without bringing up any legal proceedings.”
“I want to question the conscience of the prime minister and the chief justice,” he said, criticising the Awami League(AL)-led government over media reports that the Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award) given to BNP founder Ziaur Rahman posthumously would allegedly be revoked.
The government has become “stubborn” over different issues and it has taken a stance opposing public demands, said Gonoforum acting secretary Subrata Chowdhury.
A former AL MP, Golam Maula Rony, said the project would not be reach completion as mass people and political parties have united against it. He also alleged that the government was engaged in an “illegal business” increasing fuel prices.
Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal General Secretary Khalequzzaman said other projects within 10 kilometres of the Sundarbans also need to be stopped.