Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 17 April : Just as China’s Jinping government is forcing Uighur Muslims to practice their religion, it is also harassing Bangladeshi fasting workers during the holy month of Ramadan.
Police have opened fire on workers at a coal power plant under construction by a Chinese company in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The workers demanded that they be given leave before Iftar in the month of Ramadan. But the Chinese company is reluctant to accept it. This caused dissatisfaction among the workers. Police fired to bring the situation under control. Five workers were killed.
Police claimed that they had to open fire as the workers had attacked them during a meeting with the local administration over unpaid wages and allowances.
The deceased are Ahmad Reza, 18, Rony Hossain, 22, Shuvo, 24, Md Rahat, 24, and Rayhan, 25.
Banshkhali Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Saiduzzaman Chowdhury confirmed the figures of fatalities. He added that local people had joined the workers’ protest.
Azizul Islam, officer-in-charge of Banshkhali police, said that tension had been prevailing since Friday over non-payment of the workers’ dues, reports UNB.
“On Saturday morning, the leaders of the workers’ union sat in a meeting with the local administration to settle the issue. At one stage, an altercation ensued between the police and the power plant workers around 11:45am, triggering a chase and counter-chase.
“Later, police fired bullets to disperse the workers,” the OC said.
Five of the injured, who sustained bullet injuries, were taken to Chittagong Medical College and Hospital while the others were undergoing treatment at Banshkhali Upazila Health Complex.
Several police members were also injured yesterday. The agitated workers carried out vandalism and arson attacks inside the power plant, the OC said.
This is not the first time protesters are killed over construction of the $2.4b ultra supercritical thermal power plant, partially funded by two Chinese companies, on the bank of Sandwip Channel of the Bay of Bengal at Gondamara Union of Banshkha