A tense situation is prevailing around the Barapukuria 525MW Coal-Fired Power Plant in Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur as agitating jobseekers assaulted three persons including brother of the local lawmaker during a demonstration yesterday.
Train movement on Dinajpur-Parbatipur route remained suspended for two hours from 4:00pm as locals demonstrated in the area in protest at the assault.
Moinuddin Khaza, 44, son of late Mobrak Hossain Shah, of Paschim Gouripara under Phulbari upazila of Dinajpur, also younger brother of Dinajpur-5 (Phulbari and Parbatipur) lawmaker Mostafizar Rahman, and his companions Md Sumon, 32, and Munna, 35, faced the wrath of the agitating jobseekers around 1:30pm.
According to police, around 154 jobseekers, who earlier worked at the third unit of the plant, gathered in front of the power plant and blocked the entrance to press home their demand for jobs there around 10:30am.
As Moinuddin Khaza along with Sumon and Munna went to the spot and asked the jobseekers what they were doing, an altercation followed and the angry workers beat them up.
Police rescued them and took them to Phulbari Upazila Health Complex.
Protesting the assault, a large number of locals carrying sharp weapons gathered in front of the plant area.
“A large number of policemen have been deployed in the area and the situation is under control,” said Mokhlesur Rahman, officer in charge of Parbatipur Police Station.
Agitating jobseekers alleged that local Awami League men control recruitment at the power plant.
“During the development work of the third unit [a 275MW power plant], the authorities promised to the temporary workers that they would be employed as 'operational employees' after completion of the development work. But they were deprived during recruitment of manpower after the end of development work in 2017,” said Habibur Rahman, president of Barapukuria Shramik Adhikar Andolon, a committee that organised the movement.
Abdul Hakim, chief engineer of Barapukuria Power Plant, said they have a plan to provide jobs to the people who earlier worked for the third unit.