Local leaders on Saturday Awami League foiled a rally organised at Tangibari of Munshiganj to press for repairs of an embankment that protects Bikrampur from erosion by the river Padma.
Padma Bhangan Rakkha Committee arranged the rally on the bank of Padma at Hasial in Tangibari. The local chanted the slogan ‘stop erosion by Padma river: save Bikrampur.’
Tangibari upazila Awami League general secretary Badal Mallik and some of his cohorts forced the organisers to stop the programme, said the organisers.
Local people condemned
the action and vowed to continue their movement for repairs and expansion of the dyke protecting the area before monsoon.
About 15 minute after into the programme, when sculptor Bhaskar Rasha was addressing the rally, Mallik with his followers went to the place and asked the organisers to stop the programme.
‘He [Mallik] mounted the dais and asked who had given permission for the programme,’ said a witness.
The AL leader and activists forced Padma Bhangan Rakkha Committee member-secretary Anisur Rahman to call off the programme.
Bhaskar Rasha, thespian Mamunur Rashid and Padma Bhangan Rakkha Committee convener Jahangir Alam along with others left the place.
‘There is no need for any meeting or movement as the government is going to take steps for repairs of the embankment,’ said Badal Mallik.
‘Some of the BNP [main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party] men tried to hold the meeting on the pretext of river erosion. They called off the meeting when we protested.’
Jahangir Alam said Padma Bhangan Rakkha Committee was a non-partisan platform comprising men from all walks of life. ‘Local leaders of Awami League are also in the committee and they attended the preparatory meetings. Tangibari thana Awami League president Jaglul Halder is one of the advisers of the committee’ he said.
Jahangir said the programme was organised to press for repairs and expansion of the embankment stretching between Garugao and Hasial. ‘Erosion threatens the dyke causing concerns among the local people before monsoon,’ he said.
He demanded intervention by prime minister Sheikh Hasina for steps to stop the erosion by Padma river and save Bikrampur.
Both Mamunur Rashid and Bhaskar Rasha termed the incident ‘unfortunate’. River erosion is a national problem and Bikrampur is under threat. We came here to discuss the problem but forced closure of the rally was unfortunate,’ Mamunur Rashid said.
Tangibari police station sub-inspector Shamsul Alam said they did not know anything about the incident.
Rakib Ahmed of Hasail bazaar area said they went to attend the rally defying heavy rain but it was stopped by Awami League leaders. ‘They showed their strength as they are in power,’ he said.
Abul Kalam Azad of the same locality said the embankment was built several years ago and blocks number six and seven bordering Garugao and Hasial unions have been washed away. ‘If the embankment is not fixed before monsoon, we may lose our homesteads,’ he said.