Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tipai Dam protests to mark Bhasani's Long March

Ehsanul Haque Jasim

Different organisations of the country are taking preparations to launch a massive movement on Tipaimukh Dam issue to voice their demand for stopping its construction to save vast areas of the country from desertification.

To mark the 29th death anniversary of legendary leader Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, which will be observed on November 17, some organisations will announce different programmes on Tipaimukh Dam issue in memory of his historic Farakka Long March.

On the occasion of his death anniversary, the Tipaimukh Dam issue will be discussed by organising seminars, roundtables, discussions and other programmes by different organisations.

In May 1976 Maulana Bhasani led a massive Long March demanding demolition of the Farakka Barrage constructed by India. It was the first people's movement against India on distribution of the Ganges's water.

Surma Kushiara Meghna Bachao Andalon, an organisation of people of 16 districts of northern-eastern portion of the country, will organise a rally at Muktagan in the city on October 15. From the rally, it will announce the schedule of movement on Tipaimukh Dam issue, informed its Member Secretary Md Selim Uddin.

He told this reporter that Maulana Bhasani played a leading role at a critical moment of the nation by raising his voice against Farakka Barrage. We will raise our voice against Tipaimukh Dam in the absence of a figure like Maulana Bhasani saying that he is the pioneer of movement against India.

Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) already announced a long march towards Tipaimukh Dam. Led by its chief Mufti Syed Rezaul Karim Pirsaheb of Charmonai, the long march will start from Dhaka on December 24.

IAB leaders and workers are now taking preparations to make success the long march.

Its central leader Shahidul Islam Kabir told The New Nation that already all the units of Sylhet Division of the party are working for making the long march successful. IAB will, anyhow, implement its announced long march on time in the interest of the country, said IAB joint secretary Prof ATM Hemayet Uddin.

In protest against the construction of the dam, the Sylhet unit of Jamaat-e Islami is taking preparations to hold a boat march on Kushiara river towards Tipaimukh Dam. Already it held a unique boat march on Surma river two months ago. Former Jamaat lawmaker Farid Uddin Chowdhury told this reporter the boat march on Kushiara will be held within a short time. We are taking preparation to hold the programme, he said.

Meanwhile, the units of leftist parties in Sylhet division are also planning to initiate programmes, sources said.

A three-day long march towards the dam was held from August 8 to 10 under the banner of Sylhet Division Development Action Council (SDDAC). The participants of the long march could not pass the border of Zakiganj due to police interception. At that time they announced a seven-day air march towards Delhi on January 8 to 15.

SDDAC president Advocate Abed Raza said that the air march programme will be implemented on time. "We will take visas from Indian High Commission to reach Delhi to participate at the air march," he said. He hoped that the government will help them to implement the programme.


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