Gonoshasthaya Kendra Trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury has said that the government should resume inter-district bus and trains and make arrangements for people to return to Dhaka free of cost.
During a virtual citizen discussion on the occasion of "Farakka Day" on Sunday, he also suggested having the Covid-19 test for all returnees.
It was a wrong decision of the government to stop public transport before Eid and people were suffering indescribably for the wrong decision. Even women were seen risking their lives for going home, an injustice that has never occurred in Bangladesh, he added.
Regarding the recent attack on Palestine by Israel, he said, "We could not protest against the inhumane and brutal killing of children and people in Gaza for the last few days, not even a symbolic protest. Muslim countries should have been united forgetting their disagreements and counter Israel."
President of the International Farakka Committee and former Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University Professor Jasim Uddin Ahmed joined the programme from Canada and said that before the Farakka Long March of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani on 16 May 1976, no political or environmentalist in Bangladesh had spoken about the horrors of Farakka.
The visionary Maulana thought that India would not only stop the flow of water by constructing Farakka Dam but would also turn Bangladesh into a desert by withdrawing water by building dams on identical international rivers in the future, he added.
Former UN water expert Dr SI Khan said that the water of the Ganges does not belong to India only, yet it wants to enjoy exclusive rights over the water.
Daily New Nation Editor Mostafa Kamal Majumder said that this is the time for sustainable development and water cannot be blocked by dams. "We have to raise our voices and let others know."
Jonaid Saki, chief coordinator of Janosanghoti Andolon, said, "India has blocked our water on lame excuses. They have to solve it. Bangladesh has nothing to do here. The right to river water is our natural right but we are not getting it for political reasons. It has to be tackled politically."