Arrest those who felled 30,000 trees: Bangladesh PM


"Whoever the plunderers, even if they are from my party, find them out and take stern action against them," she told the third meeting of the national environment committee here Wednesday, The Daily Star reported.
This is yet another move to curb highhanded behaviour by her party people who have been found to indulge in extortion and corruption since the party returned to power in January.

Awami League (AL) activists, said to be 'influential' in the major tourist resort of Cox's Bazaar, are alleged to have felled the Jhau (tamarisk) trees on about 250 acres of land in Teknaf beach and carted it away.
This has removed a natural barrier to any cyclone or flood to which the region is prone, media reports say.

Over 50 people cut down the trees Aug 5-11. They were led by Sabrang union unit AL president Zahed Hossain, his brother and Teknaf upazila (sub-district) unit youth wing general secretary Noor Hossain.

Shafique Miah, Upazila chairman and the party's sub-district general secretary, has provided 'a strong back up' to felling of the trees.
Those accused have denied the allegations, the newspaper said.
Awami League activists have been accused of violence in their efforts to regain political hold on the party's returning to power.

Hasina has time and again issued warnings to her partymen. Some weeks ago, she resigned from the youth and students bodies of which she was the symbolic chief when they engaged in factional wars.

The leaders sat on hunger strike to protest her action.
The Daily Star said in an editorial Thursday: "We fully share her views on the issue of MPs exerting influence on the bureaucracy to extract undue advantages for the ruling party activists."

The editorial deprecated the 'argument' from some AL quarters that they were doing precisely what the rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies had done when they were in power.

Urging AL leadership to "go beyond condemning" acts of highhandedness, the editorial suggested: "The ruling party should have its own version of intelligence that will let the leaders know where things are crossing the limits of acceptability and who are responsible for it."

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