Police foiled a march to the energy ministry, protesting the recent gas price hike, by using tear shells and water cannons. The march was organised by Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, an alliance of left-leaning political parties. The turbulence took place today at the city’s Jatiya Press Club area that left a few activists injured in the spot.
The leftist organisations observed a half-day hartal on 28th February of this year, asserting a 7 point demand including cancellation of the latest countrywide price hike of gas. On that day, the activists decided to hold a march towards energy ministry and to surround it on 15th March.
The leftist leaders started to gather at the Jatiya Press Club area at around 11 AM on today according to their pre-plan to organise the march. Leaders from CPB, Socialist Party of Bangladesh, Gana Sanghati Andolon, and National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port took part on today’s rally and march. Among other leaders, CPB president Muzahidul Islam Selim, General Secretary Sayed Abu Jafar Ahmed, General Secretary of Socialist Party of Bangladesh Khaekuzzaman spoke at the rally.
The protesters started their march at around 12 PM from press club area and later started moving towards secretariat. Police then placed a barricade and dispersed them with water cannons and tear gas and a few protesters sustained injuries at the spot.
Dhaka Medical sources claimed that, at least 11 of the activists took emergency care at the hospital regarding this case. Ganasanghati Andolon sources claimed that, their central leader Abu Bakar Ripon sustained serious injuries due to police’s brutality. “At least 50 of our activists sustained injuries,” said Saifuzzaman Sakon, a member of the executive body of Socialist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist).
However, the activists gathered again at the Jatiya Press Club area after the rampage and CPB central Leader Ruhin Hossain Prince then declared for a demonstration on Thursday against the police’s brutal strike against their peaceful program.