Protesters shot dead by police at Bangladesh power plant | Asia Pacific News


The incident took place on Saturday as workers were demanding a pay rise at a Chinese-backed coal-fired power plant.

At least five people have been shot dead and dozens injured when police opened fire at workers demanding a pay rise at a Chinese-backed coal-fired power plant in southeast Bangladesh.

They were protesting over unpaid wages, working hours and alleged discrimination.

Azizul Islam, Banshkhali police chief, said about 2,000 protesters threw rocks and bricks at police, who responded with gunfire on Saturday.

Four bodies with bullet wounds were taken to Banshkhali’s main hospital, a doctor there said, adding that 12 wounded were being treated.

Police confirmed the death of one more protester and injuries to 19 people, including three policemen, who were taken to a hospital in Chittagong.

The $2.4bn power plant, located 265km (165 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka, is a main source of foreign investment in Bangladesh, and one of a series of projects Beijing is pushing to cultivate closer ties with Dhaka.

Rights activists say the plant does not meet environmental impact standards and was built without public consultation. It has been at the centre of other deadly protests in recent years.

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

One man was killed in 2017 when police fired shots at a rally.

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