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25 injured as Bangladesh's police clash with oil, gas protection activists


13:59, December 30, 2011

DHAKA, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- At least 25 people were injured in Bangladesh's capital on Thursday as policemen clashed with leaders and activists of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port when they tried to lay siege to the country's Engergy Ministry.

The committee's leaders and activists held a rally in front of Dhaka's National Press Club on Thursday morning demanding the implementation of seven-point demand which include cancellation of rental power plant agreements and gas export deal with the American oil company ConocoPhillips.

After the rally, the agitating activists brought out a procession to lay siege to Energy Ministry to press home their demands. As the precisionists insisted on marching ahead, police fired a number of tear gas canisters and charged batons on them.

The committee leaders claimed at least 25 activists were injured during police action. A Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the claims.

"The demonstrators first hurled stones at police," a senior policeman said, who requested to be unnamed.

But the committee's convener Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah said it was the police that started charging them with batons without any provocation.

Shahidullah said his committee demanded cancellation of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) - 2008, adopted by the last unelected caretaker government. He said, the present government has decided to allow the multinational companies including ConocoPhillips to export 80 percent of our resources under that PSC with foreign and local oil companies which the last government approved in February 2008.

The committee announced that it will demonstrate across the country on Jan. 2 to protest police action.


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