Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on Saturday said the people of Bangladesh would not allow India to construct the Tipaimukh dam on the River Barak because it would spell disaster downstream and turn Sylhet into a desert. ‘India has turned the country’s northern region into a desert by constructing the Farakka Barrage and now it is planning to turn Sylhet into a desert. But Jatiya Party and the people of Bangladesh would not accept the Indian government’s unilateral decision to construct the Tipaimukh dam,’ Erhsad said.
He was addressing a rally on the Sylhet Government Alia Madrassah ground in the city in the afternoon after leading a ‘long march’ from Dhaka towards the frontier town of Zakiganj to protest at New Delhi’s move to go ahead with the controversial project to build a dam on Barak river which feeds Surma, Kushiyara and Meghna rivers downstream.
Expressing his gratitude for India’s active support to the liberation war of Bangladesh, the JP chairman asked New Delhi not to back away from the commitment it had made during prime minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh.
‘India has violated the laws on international rivers by initiating a move unilaterally to build the Tipaimukh dam,’ Ershad said, adding that the Indian government
should consult Bangladesh and conduct a joint survey before taking the move.
The JP chairman said that his party’s campaign against the proposed Tipaimukh dam was aimed at protecting the interest of the countrymen, not for political gains.
‘We have come here not to seek vote but to protect the right and interest of the people of this region and the country,’ Ershad said.
He said the Tipaimukh issue had become a national issue and urged all other political parties to sit for a discussion to make a unanimous decision on it.
JP’s Sylhet divisional coordinator Atiqur Rahman Atiq presided the rally addressed, among others, by the party’s presidium member Kazi Zafar Ahmed, secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawladar, Kazi Firoz Rashid, lawmakers Mujibul Haq Chunnu, Salma Islam, Fazle Rabbi and Lily Chowdhury, Faysal Chisti, organising secretary Abdullah Siddiquee, Swechchhasebak Party president Golam Habib Dulal, Luthfur Rahman Chowdhury Helal and SM Alam.
The caravan will resume its journey towards Zakiganj, some 100 kilometres from Sylhet city, where a rally will be held after the long march, the party sources said.
-With New Age input