A government body to probe last year's devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia has found “unpardonable neglect” on the part of the owner but said the incident might have been “subversive”.
The fire at Tazreen in Ashulia on November 24 last year killed at least 112 people and injured many others.
The committee, formed by the home ministry, recommended that Md Delwar Hossain, owner of the factory, be tried under Section 304 (A) of the Penal Code, which hands down only five years' imprisonment as maximum punishment.
Delwar, the managing director of the garment factory, ruled out his responsibility in connection with the fire and claimed he was innocent. He told The Daily Star that law enforcers had not arrested him as there were no specific charges against him.
Some of the security workers were responsible for the disaster and they were absconding, he added.
The home ministry recently sent its probe report to the Office of the Attorney General for submission before the High Court on June 19.
Earlier on November 25 last year, the ministry formed the four-member committee led by its Additional Secretary Mainuddin Khondker.
Md Abdus Salam, director general of the industrial police, Md Abdus Salam, director (administration) of the Fire Service and Civil Defence, and Sayeed Mahmud Belal Haider, deputy secretary to the home ministry, were the other members of the committee.
They submitted the report to the home ministry in December last year. The Daily Star has obtained a copy of the report.
The committee in the report observed the disaster at Tazreen Fashions was very sensitive that had created a sensation both at home and abroad.
The incident might be “subversive”, but the “unpardonable neglect” of its owner was also responsible for it, the probe report added.
It was clearly an offence of causing deaths by negligence, the report further said.
The committee has also found eight others of the garment factory responsible for the incident and recommended their trial under relevant laws.
They are manager Md Abdur Razzak, quality manager Md Shahiduzzaman Dulal, production manager Md Mobarok Hossain Monju, assistant production manager Md Sohel Rana, assistant general manager Harun Or Rashid, security-in-charge Al Amin, Delwar Hossain's wife, who is a director, and engineer M Mahabubul Morshed.
Delwar and his wife had constructed the building like a brick kiln on a faulty plan and illegally used the walkway on the ground floor as a godown, the report said.
Three anthropologists -- Naznin Akter Banu, Saydia Gulrukh Kamal and Mahmudul Hasan Sumon -- filed a writ petition on April 28 with the HC seeking directives on the government to arrest and bring Delwar to book.
The petitioners have also claimed 37 garment workers are still missing since the deadly fire.
After the hearing on the petition, the HC on June 9 directed the government to submit the probe report to it on June 19.
The court also asked the inspector general of police to get DNA tests of the relatives of the missing people done and submit a report to it on June 19.