hartal by a citizens’ pressure group was observed partially in the capital on
Monday in protest against the government’s decision to lease out three gas
blocks to international oil giants.
Local units of the group also staged demonstrations in different districts as a part of the program.
The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port, backed by a section of left-leaning political parties, enforced the 6:00am-12:00 noon hartal – the first since the Awami League-led alliance government assumed office in January. The committee gave the government a fresh one-month ultimatum to fulfill its five-point charter of demands, including punishment of the persons responsible for the police attack on its activists on September 2.
The government on August 24 approved oil and gas exploration deals with US ConocoPhillips and Ireland’s Tullow Oil Ltd in three offshore blocks.