British MP marches to Bangladesh-India border to protest dam

Dhaka, Nov 30 (Inditop.com)  Stating that the proposed dam by India over the Barak river would flood large areas and act as a “weapon of mass destruction”, a British delegation led by MP George Galloway marched to the India-Bangladesh border before he was stopped by border guards.

Galloway and his delegation Sunday marched from Sylhet city and sought to cross the border into India when the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) stopped them, Bdnews24.com reported.

The march took place ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi Dec 19-21 when the issue is expected to figure in top level bilateral talks.

India has already assured that there would be no flooding, nor would it divert water from the dam that is only for power generation.

New Delhi has repeatedly assured Dhaka that it would not do anything that would jeopardise Bangladesh’s economy or environment.

The proposed dam at Tipaimukh is to be built 200 km upstream on the Barak river that divides into Surma and Kushaiara rivers upon entering Bangladesh.

The march was coordinated by an organisation of Bangladeshis from Sylhet who live in Britain “to draw global attention to the devastating potential impact of the proposed dam on Sylhet and the entire north-eastern region of Bangladesh”, the group’s website said.

“The potential impact on both depriving Sylhet of vital water and threatening serious flooding makes this a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ aimed at the heart of Sylhet and the people of Bangladesh,” Galloway said.

Besides Galloway, the delegates included councillors Abjol Miah and M. Mamunur Rashid, and 17 other British representatives.

Galloway has already met former prime minister Khaleda Zia, former president H.M. Ershad, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer (chief) Motiur Rahman Nizami and Sylhet mayor Badruddin Ahmed Kamran.