Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina defends LPG deal with India

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday defended her government’s decision to export liquefied petroleum gas [LPG] to India.

Addressing a press confernce in Dhaka, Ms. Hasina said Bangladesh is not exporting natural gas but LPG.

She also pointed out that “very little” water of river Feni is accorded to Tripura and thus it should not create any problem for Bangladesh.

The criticism of recent deals between Bangladesh and India gathered momentum since Monday as an engineering college student, accused of questioning the Awami League government on them, was beaten to death allegedly by the ruling party’s student wing. Ms. Hasina said the guilty students “will be punished.”

Answering a question she said Bangladesh will be providing 1.82 cusecs of water from Feni river to Tripura. According to a member of the Joint River Commission of Bangladesh, Feni has a “minimum flow of around 110 cusec of water” and thus the amount given to India is negligible.

“If someone asks for drinking water, how can we deny it,” she said, defending the Feni MoU. Regarding bulk export of LPG to India, she said LPG is “not produced” in Bangladesh.

“It is not natural gas and not produced in Bangladesh. We buy unrefined oil. LPG is produced as its byproduct which we will sell,” Ms. Hasina said.

“In 2001 we refused to sell natural gas, and could not come to power. [Opposition] BNP and Jamat-e-Islami won the election [as] they agreed to export the gas. They are now questioning us,” she said.

As for the murder of the student, she said “no one will be spared.” Abrar Fahad was killed allegedly by members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League [BCL.

“It does not matter who belongs to which party. We do not need to know that. They [the alleged killers of Fahad] are criminals…they killed a 21-year-old in a ghastly manner and will not be spared,” Ms. Hasina said.

Mr. Fahad had criticised the Awami League government on social media for giving water and LPG to India. Soon after he was beaten to death by BCL members.

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