September 03, 2009

Police Crackdown On Protests In Dhaka

Thinks look grim in Dhaka as more than 50 people were injured while protesting peacefully against the offshore gas contracts awarded to three foreign energy companies. Professor Anu Muhammad, member-secretary of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, was among the injured.

Photo credit: The New Age
The rally was intercepted by police at Paltan and in the ensuing melee police mounted a baton charge that left committee member secretary Prof Anu Muhammed and dozens others injured. Prof Muhammed, a teacher of economics at Jahangirnagar University, told “We were peacefully observing our programme when the police beat us without any reason. Several people were injured in the incident. We waged this movement to protect the assets of the country. We are not against the government. It is the government’s responsibility to protect the life and property of citizens. I cannot understand why this incident took place,”.

Here in an interview taken by photojournalist and blogger Shahidul Alam prof Anu Muhammad tells that "the government does not change, its an issusion." Although the govt. has changed recently, the same imperialist forces are at work trying to plunder the nation's wealth and they try to repress any force that try to oppose them:

According to the New Age:

Both legs of Anu Muhammad, also a professor of economics at Jahangirnagar University, were badly fractured in the police attack while a number of other left-leaning political leaders and activists, including Saiful Huq, Mushrefa Mishu, Jannatul Marium Tania, Montu Biswas, Srikant Samaddar, Biplab Mandal, Gazi Shafiullah and Sumi Akhtar sustained injuries.

Condemning the police action Anu Muhammad told reporters that their campaigns were aimed at protecting the natural resources of the country. ‘We are not against the government; we are against the move to export our natural resources. It is the government’s responsibility to protect the lives and property of the citizens. I don’t understand why the police pounced on us,’ he said.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs, headed by the finance minister, on August 24 approved offshore oil and gas exploration deals with the two companies in three sea blocks in the resource-rich Bay, on condition that they would not operate in the disputed areas in the blocks.

At the rally, Shaheedullah said they demanded cancellation of the Model Production Sharing Contract 2008, approved by the last interim government, saying pressure from ‘colonialists’ had been behind it.


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