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Wednesday, November 26, 2014, Agrahayan 12, 1421, Safar 2, 1436 Hijr

Fulbari tense over Asia Energy chief of operation's arrival
Our Correspondent
Publish Date : 2014-11-26,  Publish Time : 22:40,  View Count : 10
Dinajpur: Leaders and activists of Phulbari Sammilito Peshajibi Sangathan and National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Minerals, Electricity and Port blockaded the Dhaka-Dinajpur highway, disrupting communications with the capital, and staged demonstrations at Phulbari upazila in the district protesting implementation of Phulbari Coal Mine Project.

Causing mounting sufferings for the passengers, agitated people of the upazila blockaded the Dhaka-Dinajpur highway all through the day from 11:00am to 4:30pm, responding to a news that Asia Energy is taking preparations to implement its coal mine project at Phulbari in the district.

The news spread across the upazila Wednesday when multinational Company Asia Energy’s chief of operation Gary N Lye exchanged views with some officials of Asia Energy’s Phulbari branch.

Sources said hundreds of people of the upazila brought out a number of processions all through the day that paraded the roads of the upazila and took position on the highway. They declared a one hour ultimatum for Gary N Lye to leave the locality.

The agitated people attacked the Phulbari branch of Asia Energy as even after two hours he (Gary) did not leave the upazila. They tried to enter and ransack the office premises breaking police barricade set up in front of the office, according to people present at the spot.

At that time, when the situation was going out of control, municipal mayor Mortuza Sarker Manik, former upazila chairman Aminul Islam Babul, and local leader Abdullah Nuruzzaman, all of whom were leading the agitation, pacified the agitated people from ransacking the Asia Energy office. Kamal Chakrabarty, an activist of the movement, got injured at that while trying to prevent the people from vandalising the office.

At that time UNO Maniruzzaman and Officer-in-Charge of Phulbari police station ABM Rezaul Islam prevented the situation from further deterioration with the help of the leaders of Oil-Gas Committee and Peshajibi Sangathan, local sources said.

 The blockade, however, was withdrawn at 4:30pm after getting an assurance from upazila nirbahi officer Maniruzzaman.

According to sources the UNO told the protesters that Gary N Lye had said that the company would not start the implementation Phulbari Coal Mine Project.

Earlier on Tuesday also, hundreds of people blockaded Dhaka-Dinajpur highway hearing the news that Gary N Lye had exchanged views with officials of Asia Energy’s Phulbari branch.

At 4:00pm Tuesday, Oil-Gas Committee’s Phulbari unit convener Syed Saiful Islam Jewel declared to continue the blockade and to stage demonstration from a rally held at Nimtala intersection of the upazila.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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