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Anul Muhammad is a veteran academic and activist from Bangladesh. This is not the first time that the professor is facing threats, beatings and persecution. He is a professor of economics.

Below is the content of a chilling text message he received from the Al-Qaida related group in Bangladesh:

“Say ‘yes’ to Rampal otherwise you will be hacked to death incredibly by us!”

Rampal is a coal plant project planned to be implemented in Bangladesh.

The group which is sending death threats to Professor has in the past been associated with brutal attacks as well as murders of gay rights bloggers and atheists in the country. In 2014, the same group killed a sociology don in Bangladesh.

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Current, their guns and machetes are trained on the economics professor who has been at the forefront of a campaign that is opposed to building of a coal-power plant in Rampal at a cost of USD $1.5 billion. The project according to activists and analysts, the project will have environmental implications such as threatening wildlife such as pythons and crocodiles and polluting water sources.

The biggest fear is that the plant if built will destroy one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. This is a home to the Irrawaddy dolphins and the popular Royal Bengal tiger. 

In January, 20 protestors were injured as police launched tear gas in addition to water cannons on the protesters.

The opening of the coal plant is scheduled to be four years from now in 2021. The plant will produce lots of carbon dioxide as well as Sulphur emissions.

Bangladesh government is pushing hard for the implementation of the project despite advice from the United Nations to relocate it to spare the lives of four million people in the project area.

This coal-power project is a joint venture between a Bangladesh and Indian power companies. The project is receiving great support from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

In 2007, Professor Muhammad helped stop a multi-billion dollar energy investment which was planned by Tata Group of India. During this time the activist-professor was threatened and asked to stop appearing on television.

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