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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bangladesh launches new India-assisted rail initiatives and thermal energy unit amid opposition protests

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NEW DELHI — India and Bangladesh launched two new railway hyperlinks and a thermal energy plant unit Wednesday to strengthen connections and vitality safety within the area amid robust opposition protests in Bangladesh.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina collectively inaugurated the three Indian-assisted improvement initiatives by way of video conferencing.

India offered $47.8 million for a cross-border prepare hyperlink and a $388.92 million concessional line of credit score for the Khulna-Mongla port rail line in Bangladesh. India offered one other $1.6 billion for Bangladesh’s 1,320-megawatt tremendous thermal energy venture, in keeping with India’s Exterior Affairs Ministry.

Hasina is going through avenue protests from opposition supporters who demand that her authorities resign and hand energy to a nonpartisan caretaker to supervise a basic election subsequent 12 months.

A minimum of six individuals have been killed and dozens injured throughout avenue protests since Saturday, officers mentioned.

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Hasina considers a partnership with India politically vital for regional peace and improvement. Nevertheless, India has not commented immediately on the current unrest. The Dhaka-based embassies of Western nations, particularly america, have usually issued statements calling for either side to indicate restraint and to discover a manner for a free, truthful and participatory election.

China and Russia issued statements in current months accusing Washington of interfering in Bangladesh’s inside political affairs.

China is also concerned in lots of mega initiatives in Bangladesh, whereas Russia is constructing the nation’s first nuclear energy plant.

India and Bangladesh share historic and cultural ties; Bengali, which is spoken in each nations, is a robust bond. Bilateral relations have improved since Hasina and her Awami League celebration got here to energy in 2009.

Throughout her September 2022 go to to India, the 2 nations signed a water-sharing settlement and 6 different pacts, together with ones on area know-how and scientific collaboration.

Since Hasina turned prime minister, her authorities has addressed India’s considerations about anti-India militant teams taking shelter on Bangladeshi soil. Nevertheless, India has did not signal an settlement on sharing the waters of the River Teesta, a key Bangladesh demand.

One other severe concern for Bangladesh is using deadly weapons by the Indian border safety power to kill Bangladeshis suspected of involvement in smuggling or illegally crossing the border. Unauthorized immigration to India from Bangladesh has dogged the nations’ bilateral ties for years.


Related Press Author Julhas Alam contributed to this report from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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