Withdraw Indian envoy: Dhaka opposition

June 24th, 2009 - 12:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, June 24 (IANS) The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has demanded immediate ‘withdrawal’ of the Indian high commissioner here after he allegedly called Bangladeshi water resources specialists protesting India’s Tipaimukh dam project as “so called experts”.
The remark allegedly made by envoy Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty at a seminar in the presence of Foreign Minister Dipu Moni amounted to his interfering in Bangladesh’s internal affairs, the BNP parliamentary party said.

“We demand immediate withdrawal of Indian high commissioner as his statements are concocted and made to interfere in the internal affairs of Bangladesh. His statements will also damage relations between the two countries,” New Age newspaper quoted opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque as saying.

The BNP offensive was aimed at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government that is preparing to send a parliamentary team and experts to the dam site for an on-the-spot study and discussion.

“His (Chakravarty’s) behaviour and attitude have become audacious after the present (Awami League-led) government came to power,” he said. “But the foreign ministry does not feel the need for warning him.”

He said the foreign minister had committed an unpardonable offence as she did not take any step in connection with the high commissioner’s statement.

Zia had a day earlier addressed a letter to Indian prime minister asking him to stop work on the proposed dam to be built over Barak river in India’s Manipur state.

Chakravarty had disputed the ‘perception’ in Bangladesh that India had been ’secretive’ and had not consulted the lower riparian neighbour on the project.

There was no international law that could stop New Delhi from implementing the project, he had said.

Protests are mounting in Bangladesh against the proposed dam at Tipaimukh as locals, joined by NGOs and political parties, allege that it would have an adverse effect on the Bangladesh side.

Part of the Brahmaputra river system, the Barak river feeds Bangladesh’s Surma and Kushiyara rivers, eventually flowing into the Meghna, one of the three main rivers of Bangladesh.

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