- 200 mangrove marchers brutally charged by police in Dhaka
- 16 unarmed protesters seriously injured
- Six frontline defenders and NCBD leaders imprisoned
- Cops foiled public statement to cancel dark deal over world’s largest mangrove
By Rumana Hashem and Raj Manik
As you might have awaited update from Thursday’s public march against the destructive Rampal coal-power plant, we are in the process of doing a detailed and analytical report on the attack on peaceful marchers and the fascism of Bangladeshi police. For now, note that the Dhaka protest was attacked by state law enforcement force, and the Prime Minister shamefully denied to meet with the concerned citizens of Bangladesh who wanted to handover a statement to their Prime Minister.
Dhaka March to Save the Sunderbans on 28 July 2016. copy right @NCBD Dhaka
When the marchers walked towards the Prime Minister’s office to submit a statement to save the Sunderbans, police unleashed violence on peaceful marchers, threw tear shells over a march of 200 protesters who sought to handover a public statement against the dark Rampal deal that would destroy the world’s largest mangrove, the Sunderbans. Many of our activists, including the Member Secretary of NCBD, Professor Anu Muhammad, were severely injured as beaten up by fascist police force who acted on behalf of a fascist government. Students and women-environmentalists were beaten to such that several of them were taken to hospital in critical condition.
The leaders of National Committee and frontline organisers of the march were abused and six front-line protesters, including Anu Muhammad, were detained on arbitrary charges. Police did not only abuse and charge activists but also foiled the well-written public statement, which demanded the immediate cancellation of the destructive Rampal coal-fired plant, to symbolise that commons and citizens do not have the right to express opinion on natural and national resources in Bangladesh.
In a nutshell, we have seen a fascist face of the government of Bangladesh in the month of Mangrove Action. We have witnessed how a so called pro-independence government deployed fascist police to dismiss people’s urge to preserve national sovereignty. The state-law enforcement force had foiled demands to conserve the world’s largest mangrove forest just a day after the International Mangrove Action Day. This is shocking and sickening.
Dhaka March to PM office on 28 July 2016. Copyright @NCBD
Although media coverage of this heinous attack on peaceful marchers was poor, we have heard the sound of angers, condemnation and protests across the earth on Thursday. In London, the Bangladeshi community rallied under the banner of protect resources of Bangladesh, the UK branch, and unreservedly condemned the attacked on environmentalists and progressive activists in Dhaka.
London protest against destructive Rampal power plant on 28 July 2016. Photo credit: Shefa Ahmed and Rumana Hashem
Despite miserable weather and a week day afternoon, there was a great turn up of saddened Bengalese at Altab Ali Park at Aldgate East. Speakers include Bangladesh Socialist Party leader, Mostofa Kamal, European-Bangladesh Climate Change, Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Communist party leader, Dr Mohammad Ali Khan Jinnah, Photo journalist Peter Marshall, Worker’s party leader Ishaque Kajole, Dr Mokhlesur Rahman of NCBD UK , Dr Rumana Hashem of PSG and other community organisers. We were, of course, present at the rally from Phulbari Solidairty Group. But the question is: does the Bangladesh government care for what we think and say about our national environment and national resources?
We will be updating you on further development on this via twitter, blog and mailing lists.
What you can do to help us:
- We would appreciate it if you can re-tweet our news and if you can tweet @PSG-BD
- Please do your own outreach by using hashtag #Rampal and #SavetheSunderbans
- We would appreciate it if you can avoid asking for money/donation from people for this mangrove action. Any sort of donation based campaign can undermine our cause and would let down the movement to save the Sunderbans.
- If you need help, please do contact us for connecting on how to organise in your own locality and how to express solidarity with the protesters back home. You can email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Police foiled march: The daily Star report http://www.thedailystar.net/city/demo-sundarbans-foiled-10-held-1260748