Thousands of men, women and children are staging a hunger strike to protest the construction of a dam, which has stopped crop production in Nawabganj of Dinajpur.
The protesters started the hunger strike on Sunday morning and announced it would go on if the construction work of the dam continues to obstruct their crop production.
According to locals, the administration built a dam in Ashurar Bil in 2019. This led to waterlogging, which stopped crop production on 1,900 hectares of land. They have demanded on multiple occasions that the administration open the dam.
They claimed that the field was once again rendered suitable for cultivation when heavy rains this year broke the dam, causing water to be cleared away. But the administration rebuilt the dam.
Khadiza Begum, one of the protesters said, "I have three sons and six daughters. I can't afford to educate my children and get my daughters married off. There has been a famine in the area. I urgently need to be able to cultivate paddy on this field again."
Khurshida Akhter, another protester said, "My father is a farmer. Since he can't farm, can't afford our educational expenses. We want agricultural land here, not a dam for fish farming."
When contacted, Nawabganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), Nazmun Nahar declined to comment on the matter.