Five people killed as police fire at protesting workers in Bangladesh

Dhaka police claim they were forced to shoot the protesters. — Reuters pic
Dhaka police claim they were forced to shoot the protesters. — Reuters pic

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DHAKA, April 17 — At least five people were killed and dozens injured in Bangladesh today after police opened fire on a crowd of workers protesting to demand unpaid wages and a pay rise at a Chinese-backed power plant, officials and police said.

Police were forced to open fire when protesters attacked them at the under-construction power plant in Chittagong, local police official Azizul Islam told Reuters by from the location.

“Four died and many injured... We’re trying to control the situation,” Islam said, adding that at least six police personnel were also among the injured.

The US$2.4-billion (RM9.9 billion) power plant, located 265 kilometres southeast of the capital Dhaka, is a major source of foreign investment into Bangladesh, and one of a series of projects Beijing is pushing to cultivate closer ties with Dhaka.

In 2016, China’s SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction signed a deal with S Alam Group, a Bangladeshi conglomerate responsible for building construction at the site.

That year, four demonstrators opposing its construction were killed after villagers for and against the power plant clashed before riot police opened fire after coming under attack. — Reuters

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