Railway blockade continues in Dinajpur

Local people in Phulbari upazila of Dinajpur are continuing their railway blockade programme for the second consecutive day on Thursday, protesting the government’s plan for open pit mining in Barapukuria Coal Mine.

Local administration was holding a meeting with the committee members till filing of this report at the rest house of Roads and Highway Department at about 2:15pm, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.

Railway communication between Dinajpur and other parts of the country remained suspended since 6:00am Thursday as locals under the banner of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Minerals Resources, Power and Port resumed their programme after a four and a half hours break.

They allowed train movement in the district from 1:30am to 6:00am.

The villagers started their railway blockade programme at about 12:30pm Wednesday.

The situation became normal in Barapukuria coal mine on Thursday as the demonstrators, who besieged the coal mine since Monday, gathered Phulbari to continue the blockade programme.

The demonstrators have also blocked the Dhaka-Dinajpur highway at Phulbari point since morning.

Meanwhile, a chase and counter chase took place between the demonstrators and police at Nimtola crossing in the upazila.

Locals started the besieged programme in Barapukuria protesting the government’s plan for open pit mining at Barapukuria and demanding compensation for loss of aman crops and postponement of the ongoing land survey.

Managing Director of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd Engineer Quamruzzaman however on Monday informed that the government was yet to take any initiative for open pit mining and the coal mine authorities agreed to pay compensation to the affected people.
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