Vol. 5 Num 382 Fri. June 24, 2005  

'Cancel anti-people agreements to save nat'l resources'

Tel-Gas Lunthon Pratirodh Chhatra-Jubo Andolan, (a movement of student and youth to resist plundering of oil and gas) yesterday demanded trial of AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former state minister for energy and mineral resources, for his alleged involvement in corruption.

The organisation also blasted the government for appointing Mahmudur Rahman as advisor to energy and mineral resources ministry terming him as a 'recognized corrupt person.'

Demanding exemplary punishment to Mosharraf, the leaders of the movement said Bangladesh incurred a loss of hundreds of crore of taka as the former state minister signed an agreement with Niko Resource Limited which went against the interests of the country.

"Mere resignation of the state minister is not enough to check corruption in the energy sector, rather the government has to investigate into the corruption that took place while he (Mosharraf) was minister," said Kamrul Alam Sabuj, coordinator of the organisation, at a press conference in the city.

He demanded nationalisation of oil and gas fields by cancelling all 'anti-people agreements' to save the national resources.

"The successive governments have paved the way for plundering the country's mineral resources by foreign companies through signing of anti-people agreement," said Saiful Haque, general secretary of a faction of the Workers' Party.

He also demanded of the government to realise compensation from Niko Resource Limited and Unocal for the blow-up of Tengratila and Magurchhara gas fields.

Saiful said the sale of gas to Tata Group of Industries at a cheap rate would be harmful for the country.

Bazlur Rashid Firoz, a central leader of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal, and Hamidul Hauqe Hamid, joint convenor of Muktijuddho Union, were also present at the conference.