Chawkbazar Fire: Building owners confess to renting out basement for chemical storage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:03 AM, April 17, 2019

Chawkbazar Fire: Building owners confess to renting out basement for chemical storage

Two owners of Wahed Mansion -- from where the deadly Chawkbazar fire originated -- yesterday confessed to renting out the basement as storehouse for chemicals and other materials.

Md Hasan and Sohel alias Shahid, sons of Haji Abdul Wahed, gave confessional statements before separate Dhaka metropolitan magistrates, after officer-in-charge (investigation) of Chawkbazar Police Station Md Muradul Islam produced them before the courts.

Magistrate Sadbir Yasir Ahsan Chowdhury recorded Hasan's statement while Magistrate Md Saiduzzaman Sharif recorded Sohel's statement at their chambers.

After recording statements, the duo was sent to Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

Hasan told the magistrate he rented out his basement to a tenant five to seven years ago as a storehouse for chemicals. Hasan knew it well that his tenant kept chemicals at the storehouse. But he did not know chemicals would cause the deaths of so many people.

Sohel admitted that he rented his part of the basement for spray and other materials seven years ago. “I am now repenting my wrong decision for renting out my basement for sprays and other materials,” said Sohel in his confessional statement.

The devastating fire broke out in Old Dhaka's Chawkbazar area around 10:40pm on February 20.

The duo was sent to jail on April 2 after their surrender before a Dhaka court seeking bail in the case.

On April 8, they were placed on seven-day remand each in the case for the incident that killed 70 people.

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