Police on Sunday blocked demonstrators who were marching towards the Nagar Bhaban (the Dhaka South City Corporation headquarters) protesting the felling of trees along Satmasjid Road in Dhanmondi.
The demonstrators, chanting slogans, have taken position at the Bangabazar intersection in the capital. They have declared that they will not move from there without meeting the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.
The members of Satmasjid Sarak Gachh Rakkha Andolan Committee (Satmasjid road tree protection committee) gathered in front of Curzon Hall of Dhaka University at around 11:00 am and started marching towards the Nagar Bhaban. The police members blocked them at Bangabazar intersection just before 12:00 pm.
Addressing the law enforcement agency, committee’s coordinator Amirul Rajib said, “Why is the city corporation using you? Why are we being blocked? We have the right to demonstrate. Go and bring the city corporation mayor here. We won’t listen to anything else.”
The Dhaka South City Corporation has been cutting down trees along Satmasjid Road to construct road dividers. The matter is being strongly criticised by people from all walks of life.
The environmentalists have been saying that people have been suffering immensely due to extreme heat. Despite this, the city corporation has been carrying out development work by cutting down trees.
Earlier, on 31 January, local people, along with environmental and cultural activists, jointly formed a human chain under the banner of ‘Satmasjid Sarak Gachh Rakkha Andolan’ when the person contracted to cut down the trees, began the work.
The felling of trees remained stopped for three months in the wake of the movement, but resumed on 1 May. A few trees were cut on 5-7 May.