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Bangladesh opposition observes Farakka Day

Monday May 16, 2011 11:33:11 AM, IANS

Dhaka: Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has revived the observance of 'Farakka Day' to commemorate a march it had organised in 1976 to demand that India demolish a dam on river Ganga.

The 'Long March' on May 16 that year had been led by Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani. It was stopped on the border with India's West Bengal state.

Bhashani addressed a rally on the border, eight kilometres from Farakka that India built during the Pakistan era.

The rally and the protest was part of the campaign by then military-led government headed by General Ziaur Rahman.

The BNP, which Rahman later founded and is now led by his widow former prime minister Khaleda Zia, Sunday gave the call to commemorate the "Farakka Day".

Zia is agitating against the Sheikh Hasina government, demanding a mid-term poll.

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Farakka Day was "important in the history of our national movement", reported New Age newspaper.

Farakka Barrage, over the river Ganges located in West Bengal, is roughly 16.5 km from Bangladesh's western border.

Bangladesh and India have settled the long-dispute over the sharing of Ganga water by signing the Ganga Water Treaty in 1997 that provides Bangladesh the water required during the summer months when the river water flow is low.




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