12:00 AM, November 29, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 29, 2012

Workers stage demo in Ashulia

Vandalise factories, vehicles

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Staff Correspondent

Garment workers of Ashulia yesterday blockaded the Dhaka-Tangail highway for six hours and vandalised vehicles and several factories following a short-circuit mishap in a factory.
The demonstrators also clashed with police when the law enforcers tried to calm the situation down.
Production of all the units in the area remained suspended yesterday owing to the agitation.
The outburst started around 9:30am when several thousand workers of Ha-Meem Group came out on street upon a rumour that one of the group's units had caught fire. The rumour originated after sparks from an electric short circuit had been discovered on the 7th floor of the unit.
Seeing Ha-Meem workers on streets, workers of around 400 nearby garment factories joined the agitation.
At least 50 workers sustained injuries when the agitators pelted brick chips at around 25 factories to make the units suspend their production.
The agitators set fire to two motorcycles and vandalised at least 15 more vehicles. On-duty police also found themselves under attack when they came in the way.
Nuruzzaman, a driver of Sharmin Group, said his vehicle came under attack too, but he had seen several agitators in lungis who did not seem to him as garment workers.
Moktar Hossain, deputy director of Industrial Police of Ashulia, said they had to use truncheons and teargas to disperse the violent workers.
Meanwhile, the agitating garment workers demanded punishment to owners of Tazreen Fashions Ltd and its officials holding them responsible for the fire and casualties there on Saturday. At least 111 garment workers died in the fire.
Law enforcers arrested three officials of Tazreen Fashions Ltd on Tuesday night and produced them before a Dhaka court yesterday.
The court placed them on a five-day remand in a case filed in connection with the deaths of Tazreen workers.
Of the arrestees, administrative officer Dulal Uddin, 37, and store in-charge Hamidul Islam Lavlu, 32, were arrested from Dhaka while security supervisor Al Amin, 27, from Ashulia.
In the forwarding report, the investigation officer of the case mentioned that the officials had locked all the collapsible gates when the fire broke out. Had they acted responsibly, many victims could have escaped to safety, the report added.

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