BANSHKHALI KILLING

Judicial inquiry, justice demanded

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:25, Apr 28,2021

 
 

Politicians, academics and professionals at a press conference on Tuesday demanded judicial inquiry into the killing of workers at Banshkhali and exemplary punishment of the killers.

At least seven workers were killed and dozens were shot after police opened fire at SS Power1 Limited Workers demonstrating for unpaid wages and other benefits on the coal-fired power plant premises at Baroghona under Gandamara of Banshkhali in Chattogram on April 17.

The press conference was organised to deliver the reaction and findings of an eight member civil society delegation led by Gonosasthya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury on April 25, which visited the power plant area and talked with the family of affected workers and also with the factory management.

The press conference was held a Gonosasthya Nagar Hospital auditorium at Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

Organisers placed seven demands — judicial inquiry, punishments of the killers, complete list of dead and injured workers, Tk 50 lakh compensation to the families of each dead worker, withdrawal of cases filed against the workers, safety of workers in workplaces and closure of the construction of coal-fired power plants in the country.

Ganosamhati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki, who conducted the programme, said that they had found that the police and the thugs of the company were behind the killings.

He demanded that the power plant, owned by S Alam Group, should immediately employ workers on contractual-basis.

Nagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna demanded the resignation of labour, health and home minsters for their failures.

Chhatra, Juba and Sramik Odhikar Parishad convener Nurul Haque Nur called on the civil society members to be vocal against the killings of workers by police.

Jahangirnagar University professor Anu Muhammad, who attended the press conference through video conferencing, said that police in 2016 also killed four workers of the power plant but the killers were not punished.

Dhaka University professor Asif Nazrul said that police and thugs of the owner were responsible for the killing.

Economist and former general secretary of Gono Forum, Reza Kibria called on the civil society members to be vocal against misrules of the Awami League government and unite to protest against the killings of workers.

Freedom fighters Nayeem Jahangir, Istiaque Aziz Ulfat, BELA chief executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Bhashani Onusari Parishad secretary general Sheikh Rafiqul Islam Bablu,  Rastrachinta central leader Hasnat Quayyum, Barrister Sadia Arman, political scientist Dilara Chowdhury, anthropologist Rahnuma Ahmed, internationally reputed photographer Shahidul Alam, politician Mostafizur Rahman Iran and others spoke at the programme.

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