50 injured as RMG workers clash with police in Savar, Gazipur; BGB deployed

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Dhaka, Jan 09: At least 50 people were injured in separate clashes between garment workers and police at Savar, Ashuliaand Gazipur district on Wednesday.Eight platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed at Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial area to tackle the situation, said BGB Public Relations Officer Mohsin Reza, UNB reports.

In Savar, workers from different garment factories at Ulail in Savar and Kathgara in Ashuliatook to the streets with processions demanding their wage hike, witnesses said.

At one stage, the workers hurled brickbats at police triggering a chase and counter-chase that lasted for about an hour.

Police charged baton and lobbed teargas shells to disperse them, leaving at least 30 people injured, according to the witnesses.

A tense situation is prevailing in the area following the incident.

Meanwhile, a team of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) was seen patrolling different areas here to fend off further troubles.

Traffic movement on Bypile-Abdullahpur highway remained suspended for about an hour as the RMG workers put up barricades at Narsinghapur in Ashulia.

Besides, the garment workers blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway at Kalampur in Dhamrai in the morning, halting traffic movement for nearly an hour.

However, they left the place upon request by the law enforcers.

Earlier in the morning, thousands of garment workers in different parts of the industrial zone here started demonstrations for the fourth consecutive day, demanding cancellation of the ‘discriminatory’ wage board announced by the government for them.

Officials of the Industrial Police here said the workers from several garment factories in Ulail and Genda areas started gathering on the streets since morning and began demonstrations by setting tyres on fire.

The agitated workers also hurled brick chips at their factories, said witnesses.

On information, police went to the spots and brought the situation under control.

The workers of five factories, including Textown Garments, put up barricades on Bishmile-Jirabo road at Kathgara in Ashulia demanding wage hike.

Besides, the production in four factories in Ulail, Hemayetpur of Savar and Charabagh of Ashulia, remained suspended since morning following the unrest by the workers.

The factory authorities, meanwhile, have hung closure notices at the gates of their respective factories.

Additional police have been deployed in Savar and Ashulia areas to avoid further troubles, said Shana ShaminurRahman, director of Industrial Police-1.

Police were in discussions with the factory owners to find out ways to restore the working environment in the factories.

According to UNB Gazipur correspondent, at least 20 people, including a journalist of Somoy Television, was injured during a clash with police at Gazipura on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at noon.

When workers of different garment factories tried to stage demonstrations blocking Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, police charged baton and lobbed teargas shells, leaving over 20 people, including Somoy TV journalist AsadNur, injured, witnesses said.

Bashonthanaofficer-in-charge MokterHossain said RMG workers of Kashimpur Board Bazar and other adjoining areas started demonstrations in the morning demanding their wage hike.

They vandalized some factories and blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways for some time.

The authorities of over 100 factories in the areas declared their factories shut for today fearing vandalism.

Huge law enforcers were deployed in Konabari, Chandna, Kashimpur, Tongi and other industrials areas to avert troubles.

Earlier, Sumon Mia, 22, a worker of Anlima Textile, was killed and 30 others injured in clashes with police during demonstrations at Hemayetpur on Tuesday.

The authorities of Anlima Textile declared a general holiday for Wednesday following the death of its worker.