MP flees by trawler as people chase him in Khulna

MP and his associates ask people to calm down as agitated people hurl mud at him on 1 June 2021Collected

Member of parliament from Khulna-6 constituency (Paikgachha-Koyra) M Akhtaruzzaman was forced to leave Dashalia area in Koyra upazila by trawler as agitated people hurled mud at him on Tuesday morning.

The incident took place in Dashalia of Maharajpur union in Koyra upazila of Khulna around 11:30 am today, Tuesday, where hundreds of people were working as volunteers to repair an embankment of Kapotakkho (Kobadak) river damaged by Cyclone Yaas.

MP Akhtaruzzaman, however, later returned to the spot and claimed that people did not throw mud at him or at the trawler.

He said local people demanded a durable embankment as they suffer due to damages in the embankment every year. Thousands of people were working to repair the damaged embankment. People demonstrated demanding a durable embankment when he reached there.

The MP further said the people’s demand is justified. Time and again people work hard voluntarily to repair the damages each year. That’s why they are aggrieved with the MP. I worked with the people, he added.

Prothom Alo, however, has a 17-second video clip that shows people hurling mud at the MP and his trawler as soon as the trawler reached the spot. The trawler with the MP started moving away while a person was requesting agitated people to calm down. As the trawler of the MP was leaving, the people started clapping.

Several people, who were working there, said at least 20 villages of Maharajpur and Bagali union are submerged by sea water due to the ebb and flow of the tide as the embankment was damaged by the tide as an effect of Cyclone Yaas. The embankment is yet to be repaired. This crisis has recurred after around 12 years since Cyclone Aila struck.

They said local people have been voluntarily working for four days to repair the embankment. When the MP went in the area by a trawler around 11:30 am, people started hurling mud at him. They could not be stopped even after appeals were made over megaphone. Even after 10 minutes when did not stop hurling mud at, the trawler went with him to the other side of the river. As people calmed down after around half an hour, the MP returned to the spot.

MP Akhtaruzzaman over megaphone acknowledged his failure to set up a durable embankment and started working with people to repair the damage. But people did not like that either. Most of them stopped working and left the place when the MP started working.

The local people alleged that the MP controls the repair work of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). He allocates the work contracts to his relatives and persons close to him. As their work is below standard, the embankment gets damaged even with slight rise of tidewater.

Koyra upazila Awami League president GM Mohsin Reza, upazila parishad chairman SM Shafiqul Islam, upazila Awami League president’s younger brother GM Abdullah Al Mamun, current chairman (elected under the Awami League boat symbol) Abdullah Al Mahmud and many others were working with people. They were taken aback by the reaction of the people.

SM Shafiqul Islam said they were working along with the people. When people heard that the MP has come, they started hurling mud at him. They could not stop people from this. When people somewhat calmed down after around an hour, the MP came to the spot, addressed the people and stayed there for some time. But the repair work came to a halt after that. That’s why the embankment could not be repaired completely.

Speaking to Prothom Alo over mobile phone around 12:30 pm, Koyra upazila police station officer-in-charge Rabiul Islam said the unexpected situation arose because of a misunderstanding. The situation was quelled within a short time. The MP was near the embankment.