The government has surrendered national interests to India, it claims

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia began its two-day long march towards the Teesta Barrage on Tuesday, demanding “fair share” of the river water from India.

The much-publicised ‘Long March’, consisting of an entourage of around 200 leaders and activists, was flagged off by the party’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at Dhaka’s Azampur area on Tuesday morning.

The marchers will hold six street rallies at different points on way to the Tessta Barrage in the northern Nilphamari district on Wednesday. The programme will end with a rally at Dalia and comes in the backdrop of severe water scarcity in the northern districts. The water flow in the Teesta has dropped to 650 cusecs from 3,500 cusecs around this time last year.

The programme, the BNP said, intended to focus on Bangladesh’s demand for legitimate share of Teesta waters from India and to decry the government’s failure in ensuring it. The party is also pressing for an equal share from 53 other transborder river waters. The government, it claims, has surrendered national interests and handed over the ‘power corridor’ to India.

The BNP’s allies have extended their support to the programme.

While the government is keeping a close eye on the march, State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan warned that those who would cause anarchy would face legal action. The government would however support the programme if it is organised peacefully, he added.

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