Police attack Bangladesh environmental protest

Environmental protesters in Dhaka say they were beaten up by police as they attempted to demonstrate for more renewable energy.

The National Committee to Protect Oil Gas Mineral resources, Ports and Power is calling on the Government of Bangladesh to ban open cast coal mining, to halt the development of a large coal-fired power station and to invest in gas and other renewable energies.

The demonstrators said they were marching from the Press Club to the headquarters of the Power Development Board last Monday when police set up barricades and used force to end the protest. Fifteen people were injured, including five women.

One of the demonstrators, Anu Muhammad, said if the country repaired its existing gas-fired power stations, stopped exporting gas abroad and brought fields back into use Bangladesh could generate enough power from gas to meet its energy needs for the next two decades, which would give it time to develop more renewable energy.

The protesters demanded the Government of Bangladesh continue to oppose plans for a large open cast mine in Phulbari in North Western Bangladesh and that it should cancel plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Rampal on the edge of the Sunderbans, one of the world’s few remaining mangrove forests, home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and other endangered species.

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