Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Army deployed at Barapukuria coal mine

The Daily Star, Dinajpur. May 13, 2009

Army personnel have been deployed at Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) to prevent any untoward incident at the coalmine site.

Sources said at least 180 army personnel led by a lieutenant colonel arrived at the BCMCL Monday morning and started supervising coal extraction. However, another source of BCMCL claimed that the army personnel would leave the site within a day or two.

According to mine official sources, the army was deployed Monday morning, to prevent any attempts of the miners to create unrest at the mine.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zheng Qingdian met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina following the unrest at BCMCL on May 5. During the meeting, the ambassador expressed his concern over the unrest and urged Bangladesh government to arrange for precautionary security measures for CMC officials, Chinese miners as well as Petrobangla officials.

BCMCL, Petrobangla and CMC officials and miners are worried about their security. The officials and staffs of BCMCL brought out a silent procession at Barapukuria on May 8 demanding punishment for those involved in the May 5 unrest.

They also wrote to Petrobangla recently asking for additional security measures and urged to declare the BCMCL site a "key point area", sources said.

On May 5, miners vandalised a number of rooms of Petrobangla officials and CMC miners and officials to realise their demands, which include arrear wages for the months of February, March and April.