Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A wounded tribal protester ready to die for the country

By News Editor

Published: 2006-08-29 18:00:00.0 BdST Updated: 2006-08-29 18:00:00.0 BdST

"I was ready to sacrifice my life to protect my home from the clutch of Asia Energy. I did not have any grief if the bullet pierces my chest and if I die", a Phulbari protester told BDNEWS on Wednesday lying in a bed at the Upazila Health Complex.

Biplob Rahman
BDNEWS writer

Advisory: with photo

Phulbari (Dinajpur), Aug 30 (BDNEWS) – "I was ready to sacrifice my life to protect my home from the clutch of Asia Energy. I did not have any grief if the bullet pierces my chest and if I die", a Phulbari protester told BDNEWS on Wednesday lying in a bed at the Upazila Health Complex.

The comment came from Ganesh Karmaker (36), a member of the Saotal community, who had bullet wounds in his leg during Saturday's police firing on the protesters demanding withdrawal of Asia Energy from Phulbari.

Nurses and other hospital workers applauded Ganesh and expressed solidarity with his movement as he expressed his desire to die for the sake of greater interest of the country.

Ganesh came to hospital four days after he received injury, as all tribal people of his village Dhanatala had to flee homes to avoid arrest during the alleged hunt by police soon after the firing.

At least five people were killed and fifty injured in this tragic incident.

People started returning home as the situation gradually improved with Ganesh coming to hospital.

The bullet that struck his right leg went out piercing the leg. Bleeding was soon stopped with the help of a local physician.

Ganesh went to join the demonstration to protect his home. "If Asia Energy had implemented its project here, we would be evicted from our own homes. "We will not move even if they give compensations. We want to live in our own houses as we have been living here over the years", he added.

He was even reluctant to see any development in violation of human rights. Ganesh asked the BDNEWS reporter: what was more important to you-- development or human life?

"No matter, whatever development takes place here. We cannot leave our home. Both Bengalees and tribal people are at one on this demand", he said. Our movement did not end yet, he concludes when a procession was passing by the hospital chanting slogans against Asia Energy.

BDNEWS/1955 hrs
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News Link: http://bdnews24.com/business/2006/08/29/a-wounded-tribal-protester-ready-to-die-for-the-country