At least seven workers of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project have been shot and injured in Munshiganj's Louhajang area as security personnel fired on them during protests over pay.
The incident took place near the project site at Medinimandal on Wednesday night. The injured were rushed to the Sreenagar Upazila Health Complex.
The injured workers were identified as Jakir, Parvej, Sumon, Raju, Main, Rasel and Shuvo. Police sources said Chinese security contractor staff Badrul, Najim Uddin and Moinul opened fire on the protesting workers.
Munshiganj Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdul Momen said the local rail link workers used to come to the site every morning and return home after finishing their shift. However, the authorities asked them to stay on site and continue work from there because of the pandemic.
"The workers were promised an extra Tk300 per day for this. The workers became agitated because the authorities later proposed paying them only Tk150," Abdul Momen told The Business Standard.
He claimed that there was no issue over the workers' main salary.
The SP said the agitation frightened the foreign engineers, and the security guards fired to disperse the gathering.
"The injured workers were sent home after treatment at the health complex. The situation is totally normal now," added SP Momen.
The rail link project Director Engineer Golam Fakhruddin A Chowdhury told The Business Standard that they have formed a three-member committee to investigate the matter.
"A Chinese official is in the probe committee. They will submit the report on Friday," he added.
When asked about the incident, Golam Fakhruddin said, "It was just a misunderstanding over payment, nothing else. We are clarifying the issues."
He hoped the investigation will reveal who opened fire and why they did it.
"Simple. All six were shot in the leg" said the project director.
Dr Shah Alam, the on-duty doctor at the local health complex, said most of the workers had injuries on their legs. "The injuries were not life threatening and they went home after treatment," said the doctor.
Meanwhile, an injured worker named Shuvo claimed that at least ten workers were shot in the incident.