Left leaning politicians and the workers of closed state-owned jute mills in Khulna on Sunday urged the government to reopen the closed jute mills forming a task force under jute ministry and abolishing Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation.


They made the demand in a human chain participated by hundreds of jute mill workers in Khulna region under the banner of Patkol Rokhkhay Sramik-Krishok-Chhatra-Janata in front of Crescent Jute Mills gate at Khalishpur Industrial Belt in Khulna city.


Though the demonstration was scheduled to be held at Platinum Jubilee Jute Mill gate of Khalishpur at 11:00am, the organisers alleged that they had to change their demonstration place as facing police obstruction.


Speakers at the demonstration also demanded modernising the jute mills after opening them, immediate release of jute mill labour leaders Md Oliar Rahman and Nur Islam, payment of festival allowances and six weeks’ due wages before the Eid-ul-Azha and payment to all the retired workers at a time.


They alleged that the 50,000 workers of the state-owned jute mills became jobless overnight due to closure of all the 25 jute mills under BJMC, an organisation corrupt from top to bottom.


They demanded taking legal action against those involved in the jute mills’ mismanagement and corruption.


Presided over by the parishad organiser and Socialist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist) leader Md Ruhul Amin and moderated by Bangladesh Chhatra Federation’s Khulna convener Md Al Amin, the human chain was also addressed by Ganosamhati Andolan central leader Munir Chowdhury Sohel, Trade Union Federation Khulna district president Humayun Kabir and labour leaders Abu Sayeed and Md Alamgir, among others.


The government announced closure of all the public jute mills from July 1.