Police use water cannon and teargas shells to disperse workers demonstrating on the highway
A woman has died during a running battle between police and agitated readymade garment (RMG) workers, who were demonstrating demanding wage arrears, at Dhaka’s Ashulia on Sunday.
The incident was reported from Nabinagar-Chandra Highway near the Ashulia Export Processing Zone (EPZ).
The deceased has been identified as 30-year-old Jasmine Begum, who hailed from Khulna and worked at the factory of Goltex Garments.
Hundreds of workers from Lini Fashion and Lini Apparels started demonstrating on the Nabinagar-Chandra highway in the morning demanding wage arrears. They were later joined by workers from Avant Guard, Shine Fashion and recently-closed One BD Limited.
The protesters blocked the highway, creating long tailbacks on both sides. At one point, the workers started to vandalize vehicles.
The police intervened and lobbed teargas shells, when the RMG workers fought running battles with the law enforcers.
Police said despite repeated requests, the workers refused to leave the highway when they resorted to water cannons and teargas shells to clear the road.
“The protesters work for factories owned by Indian nationals. We could not reach them. Finally, it was decided that the factory will be sold to clear the dues of the workers. The body of the deceased has been kept at the hospital’s morgue. Traffic has resumed on the highway,” said Superintendent Md Asaduzzaman of the Industrial Police-1.
During the running battle, Jasmine fell from the median of the highway and suffered injuries on her head.
She was rushed to a local hospital in an unconscious state and later moved to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where she was declared dead in the afternoon.
Her husband Mahbub said Jasmine was not among the protestors and that she was on her way to work when the clashes broke out.