BNP claims govt helped Rana escape

The BNP on Saturday alleged that the government was helping Sohel Rana, the owner of the nine-storied building that collapsed on Wednesday, in evading arrest.

Published : 27 April 2013, 04:20 AM
Updated : 27 April 2013, 07:28 AM

Rana is a leader of the Savar unit of the youth wing of the ruling Awami League.

As the clamour for his arrest grew louder, Rana gave police a slip and went underground. A hunt is on to nab him.

But the main opposition party accused the government of allowing Rana a long rope.

“Due to the government’s reluctance police have failed to arrest Sohel Rana even three days after the tragic incident. The government helped him escape,” BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said on Saturday.

Junior Minister for Home Shamsul Hoque Tuku said Rana’s relatives who were detained on Friday were interrogated to find his whereabouts.

Mosharraf said, “The owner’s relatives were detained only to pacify the enraged people.”

The BNP leader speaking at a discussion at the National Press Club on Saturday blamed the government for the Savar tragedy that claimed more than 300 lives.

Mosharraf said, “Rana Plaza was not declared unsafe for use since it belonged to a leader of the ruling political party. The workers were intentionally pushed into the death trap.”

He also claimed that the government was trying to adopt diversionary tactics.

“The Prime Minister had claimed in parliament that Sohel Rana has no connection with the Jubo League. The Home Minister even tried to blame the opposition for the collapse."

“The government is indulging in a blame game to divert the attention from the humanitarian crisis.”

Mosharraf urged the government to arrest those responsible for the tragedy, speed up rescue operation and provide proper treatment to the injured.

“Many lives could have been saved if the rescue operation was faster. We find common volunteers more active than the government’s disaster management personnel engaged in the operation. Activities of the Ministry of Disaster are not visible.”

The discussion was organised by Shaheed Zehad Srtiti Parishad demanding the release of incarcerated top leaders of the BNP.

“I urge the government not to waste more time and pass the law to reinstate the caretaker government through a 16th amendment to the Constitution.”

Rafiqul Islam Miah, another standing committee member of the party, demanded a judicial probe by a retired justice of the Supreme Court while participating in a human chain programme, organised in front of the National Press Club on Saturday demanding the release of detained leaders.

“The government has formed a number of committees. The Prime Minister is making various statements in parliament on the matter ... this is not correct,” he said.

Rafiqul Islam said if his party was back in power, it would put to trial Rana’s alleged aid Mohammad Towhid Jung Murad and others.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher