2 RMG owners arrested after ‘surrender’
Published: 2013-04-26 20:09:11.0 BdST Updated: 2013-04-26 22:35:51.0 BdST
After the Prime Minister cracked the whip, two of the owners of five readymade garment factories housed in the collapsed high-rise in Savar have surrendered to police.
Sheikh Hasina at a meeting with industry leaders asked that the owners surrender to police and warned of acting tough if they did not.
Some two hours later, Mahbubur Rahman Tapas and Bazlul Samad Adnan, owners of New Weave Bottoms and New Weave Style, respectively, turned themselves in at the BGMEA Bhaban in the early hours of Saturday.
The Prime Minister herself had earlier in the day ordered the arrest and prosecution of the suspected culprits, including the owner of the building,
“We had urged them to surrender. After they appeared here (BGMEA Bhaban), the Detective Branch of police arrested them at around 12:30am and took them away,” BGMEA President Md Atiqul Islam told bdnews24.com.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police (Dhaka range) Md Nuruzzaman confirmed bdnews24.com that the detectives had arrested the duo.
Police are looking for Aminul Islam of Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tac Bangladesh Ltd, and Anisur Rahman of Ethertex Textiles who are on the run. All the five factories had allegedly forced their employees to work on Wednesday even though the multistory developed big cracks.
Late on Friday night, the leaders of BGMEA and BKMEA went to see Hasina at her official Ganabhaban residence two days after the collapse of the nine-storey block.
Former BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy told reporters after the meeting, three owners of the five garment factories would surrender at midnight.
Leaders of the export-focused industry discussed the issue of arrest of the building owner and owners of the clothing factories that used in the huge structure.
They also talked about compensation for the deceased and injured workers.
As the BGMEA promised to immediately provide Tk 50 million to the families of the deceased and injured in compensation, the Prime Minister told them to increase the damages.
Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labour Israfil Alam were also present at the meeting.
Earlier in the day, leaders of the apparel bodies decided to shut all factories on Saturday and Sunday in the wake of labour unrest and vandalism following the worst-ever case of industrial disaster.
The death toll climbed to 307 as rescuers look for last survivors under debris two days after the huge structure, which developed cracks on Tuesday, came crushing down suddenly at this suburban township.
Most of the victims were garment workers while the building housed five readymade garment factories alongside 300 shops with nearly 5,000 workers.
Local residents say some 3,500 people were working on that day.
Rescuers have pulled out more than 2,348 people alive from the ruins so far but fear that the number of victims would go up sharply as many people still remained trapped under the debris for over 60 hours.
They have come up with a list of 761 people who are unaccounted for.
Many survivors alleged that the owners of their factories forced them to go back to work on Wednesday morning against their will.
Sohel Rana, a Senior Joint Convenor of Awami League’s youth front Juba League’s Savar municipality unit, has been on the run since the collapse.
Police and RAJUK filed two lawsuits with the Savar Police Station on Wednesday night accusing Rana and the owners of the garment units owners of the garment factories for the loss of lives and damages.
The High Court on Thursday ordered the OC of Savar Police Station to ensure personal appearance of Rana and the Chairmen and Managing Directors of all garment factories on Apr 30 before the court.
Angry over the deaths in Savar building collapse, garment workers laid siege to the BGMEA building and blocked roads in the capital on Thursday, demanding immediate arrest of Rana.
Workers in Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj blocked highways and carried out vandalism protesting the death of co-workers, forcing the factories in the areas closed for the day.
For the second day on Friday, thousands of garment workers vandalised over 100 vehicles in Dhaka disrupting traffic on several city streets for hours.
In the face of the demands of the labour organisations, the BGMEA on Thursday suspended the membership of five factories that were housed in Rana Plaza.
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