Six workers were killed and over 30 were injured as police opened fire on demonstrators demanding payment of dues as well as breaks for prayer/iftar during Ramadan
Some 63 prominent citizens of the country in a joint statement have urged the government to take steps to stop the harassment of the workers of Banshkhali coal-fired power plant.
Five workers were killed and over 30 were injured as police opened fire on demonstrators demanding payment of dues as well as breaks for prayer/iftar during Ramadan. Two more workers succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment.
The statement was signed by advocate Sultana Kamal, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Khushi Kabir, Dr Hossain Zilllur Rahman, Badiul Alam Majumder, Prof Anu Mohammad, Syed Iftekharuzzaman, Syeda Rezwana Hasan and Dr Shahidul Alam, among others.
They alleged that the police, instead of conducting an impartial and independent inquiry to the incident, arrested Engineer Shahnewaj Chowdhury from Gandamara area of Banshkhali on May 27 for his post on Facebook.
As a result, it said, nobody will dare to speak against any corruption and irregularities of the project.
Through this Facebook post, Shahnewaj expressed his own opinion and urged the youths to play a role against the illegal activities and corruption which should not be deemed as a move to create anarchy or stability.
The statement mentioned that a High Court bench on May 4 ordered S Alam Group to pay compensation of Tk5 lakh to each of the victims, and provide security and protection to the workers, families and locals of the Banshkhali power plant and not to harass them anyway.
After the April 17 incident, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and several others visited Banshkhali and spoke to the families of the deceased. He demanded Tk50 lakh as compensation for the families of the workers.
Police and district administration, later, formed two separate probe bodies to investigate the matter.
Two cases were filed on April 18. Sub-Inspector Rashed of Banshkhali police filed a case accusing 2,500 unidentified people on charges of attacking law enforcers.
Faruk Ahmed, chief coordinator of the power plant, a joint venture involving S Alam Group, lodged another case against 22 named and 1,040 unnamed people for setting vehicles on fire during the incident.
On April 26, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian announced Tk2 lakh as compensation. Besides, the junior minister also announced to provide Tk50,000 as treatment cost to each of the victims who sustained injuries in the incident.