5 killed in B’desh police firing

Dhaka, Apr 17 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/17/2021 12:41:29 PM IST

At least five workers in a Chinese joint venture coal-fired power plant were killed in police firing in Banshkhali of Bangladesh’s Chittagong region on Saturday, the police said. 

More than fifteen workers, all protesting for payment of dues, have also been injured. Anwar Hossain, Chittagong Range DIG confirmed to IANS on Saturday afternoon, five dead workers.

DIG Anwar Hossain said, workers of the power plant at Banshkhali’s Gandamara have been protesting since Friday over their unpaid dues and work hours to allow them to perform Ramzan-time rituals. 

The angry workers, who resented the non-payment of dues attacked the power plant after a meeting between the management and their leaders failed to resolve the crisis.

He claimed, “When police intervened, they were attacked. Policemen were compelled to open fire after three of them were seriously injured,” DIG Hossain said. He said fifty policemen were deployed at the power plant after the demonstrations started on Friday.

Fourteen injured workers were taken to Chittagong Medical College and Hospital (CMCH).

Locals said the workers have been agitating to press for four-point demand including payment of overdue salaries, half day work on Friday, enough time for Iftar and a hike in salary.

Controversy has dogged this joint venture coal-fired power plant since the very beginning when the buiseness tycoon S. Alam Group, one of the leading business conglomerates in Bangladesh, signed a joint venture agreement with two Chinese companies to set up the 1224 MW power project.

In 2016, four locals were killed in police firing in Banshkhali over land acquisition troubles.

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