Power shortage leads to violence in Bangladesh

April 22nd, 2009 - 11:51 am ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, April 22 (IANS) Students appearing for their annual examinations across Bangladesh sweated in the heat while thousands of workers here fought pitched battles with the police demanding restoration of power supply.
Thousands of people Tuesday rampaged through Araihazar in Narayanganj outside the national capital, blocking roads and attacking a police camp and two power stations, to protest the severe power outages.

Although most of the examinees in the Dhaka city were spared the suffering as special measures were taken, examinees outside the capital suffered in the sweltering heat, New Age reported Wednesday.

Power shortage becomes more acute during summers and hits industrial production.

The mob in Narayanganj vandalised several vehicles and razed a temporary police camp and attacked two power offices. At least 30 were injured in the clashes with law enforcers, New Age said Wednesday.

Local residents said several hundred people, joined in by hundreds more workers of the factories in the industrial belt, took to the streets.

They were charged by stick-wielding policemen who tried to control the situation.

Workers stormed the local power distribution office and assaulted the personnel working there.

The power and energy ministries are directly under the charge of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who has distributed the work among three ministers.

She has held only two meetings in the first 100 days in office and no major project has been taken up, the newspaper quoted officials as saying.

State minister for power Shamsul Haque Tuku urged public to be patient, not to get frustrated or worry about the power supply situation, as nagging outages created outcry in different areas.

“I will tell the people not to be frustrated or fearful. Please be patient… It’s not true that the power ministry is doing nothing to resolve (the) crisis. It’s not possible to tell how long it will take to come to a reasonable situation,” United News of Bangladesh (UNB) quoted him as saying.

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