Jute mill closure: Police detain 3 from workers’ coffin procession

The workers placed demands to resume factories and ensure arrears

A group of activists from Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) have brought out a procession in Khalishpur area of Khulna city, protesting the government decision to shut all state-run jute mills and demanding arrears.

Carrying a coffin covered with white sheets and placards, they paraded through many streets before arranging a rally in the Crescent Jute Mill area on Sunday till 2pm.

However, the demonstration program–which was declared last Friday by the leaders of SKOP– was challenged and halted by police at different stages.

Humayun Kabir, a convenor from Jatiyo Mukti Council, said: “We were always against the government decision of closing the state-run jute mills and today’s procession is under our regular programs.

“We placed our demands to ensure arrears to the workers and resume the factories so that our mates do not go jobless due to a whimsical decision,” he said.

Meanwhile, the protesters also claimed that police have arrested three of their leaders and also barred hundreds of activists from joining the procession by closing the Star Kheya Ghat, a river terminal beside Star Jute Mills.

The detained persons are Ruhul Amin, a leader of the organisation, Atik Anik, central president of Biplabi Chhatra Jubo Andolon, and Sujoy Shubho, a student leader.

On a field visit, a huge number of police officials were seen patrolling and guarding the jute mill areas.

When asked about the deployment, Kazi Mushtaq Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Khalishpur police station, commented that they are patrolling the area in their usual manner and claimed that the situation in Khalishpur area is normal and peaceful.

He said: “We did not arrest anyone but it is true that we detained a few people for questioning. They will be released after the routine questioning.”

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