Ashulia Industrial Zone – A Battlefield Now

I m speechless of the condition of Ashulia industrial zone! What to say I don’t know! The readymade garment belt at Ashulia turned into a battlefield yesterday. At least 100 people including 10 police men were injured in the four-hour infrequent clashes while theagitating workers ransacked around 20 factories and vandalized some 100 vehicles.

Let us have a look before this clash. As prices of the commodities are mounting at a high rate it is obvious that the people working under

Police beating garment workers at Ashulia

police torturing the garment workers

someone may ask to increase their salary and that what the garment workers did. They demanded a raise of taka 2000 because of the elevated commodity prices. Another reason is that most of the workers live in the Ashulia area and by time the rent of houses at Ashulia is more expensive than before.

This all started on Monday with a demand to raise their salary. About 4500 workers of Artistic Design Limited a packaging factory of ha-meem group owned by FBCCI president Ak Azad, took to the streets at 9.00 am. As an effect of it, several thousand from other factories also joined them within hours. It causes more than hundred factories to stop their production.

Rather than fulfilling the demands of the workers, the authority provoked police to torture them. Police charged baton, fired 135 rubber bullets and 33 teargases and used water cannons to scatter the workers. The workers also responded with brick bars. These happenings made the situation worse than before.

The workers yesterday again took place in the street but this time for not only salary but also demanding action against those who are involved in torturing their colleagues. After seeing the locked factory gates, they became angrier and blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway road. They also burnt tires and woods during the protest that results clash again.

What the owners and the workers are doing is not the solution to this problem. I think they need to sit together and the workers should put forward their demands in a constructive way not in the destructive way they are trying. It is not possible that in a day the authority will be able to meet their demands. Besides this, the authority also needs to be concerned about the demands of their workers without whom their business is nothing. Rather than torturing authority must be mindful to their workers. I hope the government will come in between them to solve this issue as early as possible and make the Ashulia industrial areas a nonviolent place not a battlefield.

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