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Dhaka Tuesday,  Jul 23, 2024

Phulbari Day Observed

EB Report

Commemorating the 11th anniversary of Phulbari Movement, activists on Saturday demanded that the government should implement the ‘six-point Phulbari agreement,’ including withdrawal of cases filed against the protesters and scrap all controversial energy dealings with foreign stakeholders.
They also urged the people to resist implementation of the hazardous Rampal coal-fired power plant near the Sunderbans.
Central organisers of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports observed the day with placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka.
Phulbari unit of the committee also organised daylong programmes that included placing of wreaths at a memorial on the bank of Chota Jamuna River in the town.
Phulbari movement organisers announced a series of protests to realise their demands.
They will hold demonstrations at Phulbari Upazila Parishad office on October 11, sit-in at Dinajpur deputy commissioner’s office and submit a memorandum to the prime minister’s office unless the six-point agreement was not implemented by November 13.
The committee’s central leaders, at a rally in the Central Shaheed Minar, called on Awami League-led government to scrap the plan for Rampal power plant and fulfil the Phulbari agreement immediately.
They said people would resist the controversial Rampal project like the Phulbari people had thwarted the plan for open-pit coal mining in Dinajpur 11 years back.
The committee convener, Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah, who chaired the rally, said the government was protecting the interests of multinational energy companies and imperialist forces.
He reminded that people’s movement in terms of protecting national interests had never been failed.
He also urged the government to enact laws banning open-pit coal mining.
Different political organisations, including Communist Party of Bangladesh, Socialist Party of Bangladesh, Revolutionary Workers Party, Ganasanghati Andolan and left leaning student organisations placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar in memory of the martyrs of the tragedy.
On August 26, 2006, local people under the banner of the committee raged a bold demonstration against Asia Energy.
Three demonstrators — Amin, Salakin and Toriqul — were shot dead and hundreds of people injured when Bangladesh Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh) personnel opened fire to disperse the protest rally.
The local unit organisers of the committee observed the day with various programmes, including hoisting black flag, wearing black badges as the government had not stick to the six-point Phulbari Agreement.
In a brief rally at Phulbari, Anu Muhammad, member secretary of the national committee, complained that the government was implementing hazardous projects across the country in the name of development.
He demanded that the government install renewable energy facilities and scrap all controversial energy dealings with foreign stakeholders.
Chaired by Hamidul Haque Sarker, the rally was also addressed by Tipu Biswas, Mosarraf Hossain Nannu, Joy Prakash Narayan, Aminul Islam Bablu, Mosaddek Hossain Labu, SM Nuruzzaman and Safiqul Islam Sikder, among others.
A procession led by Phulbari municipality mayor Murtaza Sarker Manik also placed wrath at the memorial and a brief rally was held which was chaired by Sheikh Sabir Ali.
After the rally, the participants submitted a memorandum to UNO office addressing the prime minister for her steps in implementing the agreement.

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