Vol. 5 Num 694 Sat. May 13, 2006  

Shanir Akhra spectre again!
Govt needs to intervene
Sometime ago, the mayor of Dhaka and the agitators' representatives at Shanir Akhra sued for peace on an understanding that the latter's demand for water and electricity will be met within a week's time. The deadline has been overshot, as it was bound to be, because the problems are deep-rooted, and not quite solvable in such a short time. That's where our problem lies; in order to assuage angry protests we will make adhoc promises that we won't be able to keep within a deadline. But the people are impatient with the unprecedented power outages and snapping of water supplies. That's why we hear of agitation resuming at Shanir Akhra.

It was our impression, however, after the agitation was brought to an end, particularly when we saw that the army was reaching water to the worst affected people, that the problem had been resolved. But we are disappointed to find that the trouble might reemerge. Tension is brewing at Shanir Akhra between two forces, namely the general members of the public who want better services and the supporters of the local BNP lawmaker over organising a counter-programme by the latter against the agitating people. The families of people who had participated in protest marches have also said that they still receive threats from, what they called BNP men, with dire consequences and are afraid of returning to their abodes.

We are concerned at this disturbing development and would urge the administration to rein in the trouble-mongers thereby preventing any recurrence of the earlier episode in any form or shape. The government cannot let its credibility go down on account of some unsavoury conduct on the part of an individual lawmaker.