40 injured on last day of jute mill workers’ strike

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Jute mill workersAt least 40 people were injured in a clash and in a reported attack by workers in Narsingdi and Khulna districts respectively on the last day of the 72-hour strike enforced by the state owned jute mill workers, reports UNB.

Agitating workers enforced the strike to press home their nine-point demand including implementation of the wage commission.In Narsingdi, at least 20 people were injured as the protesting workers hurled stones towards the passengers of Chattogram-bound 'Karnaphuli Express' train at Tarua in Sadar upazila.

Earlier in the day, the jute mill workers led by Shafiqul Hossain Mollah, president of Narsingdi UMC Jute Mill Workers Union, took position on the rail tracks at Tarua in Sadar upazila and burned tyres around 8am, said Shaha Alam, in-charge of GRP railways police camp.

At one stage, Chattogram-bound 'Karnaphuli Express' train tried to cross the area but failed due to burning tyres.

Later, the workers pelted stones towards the passengers, leaving 20 passengers injured.

Of the injured, two were taken to Narsingdi General Hopital for treatment.

GRP police went to the spot and brought the situation under control. Train communications between Dhaka and Chattogram remained suspended for four hours following the strike. However, the train left the area around 11:30am following police intervention.

In Khulna, agitating jute mills workers took position at several places including Natun Rasta, Shonadanga Bus Stand and

Atra industrial area around 6am, halting traffic movement on Khulna-Jashore road.

At one stage, police asked the jute mill workers who took position at Natun Rasta intersection to move back around 9:30am. But, they were continuing protest, defying the police order.

The workers reportedly attacked police box in the intersection around 10:30am.

At one stage police charged batons to disperse them, triggering a chase and counter- chase that left 20 people, including four policemen injured, said Kazi Mushtaq Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Daulatpur police station.

The agitating workers also vandalised a number of vehicles. A tense situation was prevailing in the area after the clash.

On information, police commissioner (acting) Sarder Rakibul Islam visited the spot.

Moniruzzaman Mithu, additional deputy police commissioner of Khulna Metropolitan Police, alleged that the workers suddenly carried out an attack on Daulatpur police outpost which caused huge damage to the outpost.

Workers leader Khalilur Rahman said that there were several isolated incidents of attack for misunderstanding which was brought under control later. The clash left around 15 workers injured.

Productions in nine state-owned jute mills remained suspended following the strike since Tuesday morning.

However, they also put up barricade on the rail tracks, halting train services of Khulna with other parts of the country creating immense suffering to commuters.

Manik Chandra Sarkar, station master of Khulna Railway Station, said, "No train left the city or arrived in Khulna since 6am on Thursday."

However, long-route bus movement was not hampered.

Earlier on Tuesday, the jute mills workers started their 72-hour strike blocking roads and rail routes from 8am to 12pm to press home their nine-point demand. Production at nine jute mills in the region remains suspended from Tuesday following the strike.

As their 72-hour strike will end today, the jute mill workers’ leaders of the state-owned jute mills across the country will sit at the central office of Bangladesh Jute Mill Sramik League in the capital on 7 April. From the meeting, they will announce their fresh programme, said state owned jute mills unity council convenor Sohrab Hossain.



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