Give compensation to all Churihatta victims | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:39 AM, February 22, 2020

Give compensation to all Churihatta victims

Demand family members

Relatives yesterday demanded immediate compensation for all the families of Chawkbazar fire victims, who lost their loved ones in the devastating inferno in Old Dhaka last year.

They also urged the authorities to relocate Old Dhaka's chemical factories and warehouses to a safer location.

The demands were placed at a press conference in front of Hazi Wahed Mansion at Churihatta where the fire broke out on February 20, 2019. The deadly blaze left 71 people killed.

"A year has gone by. But we didn't find anyone enquiring about the victim families -- who are yet to get any assistance from the government," said MA Rahim, who lost his two relatives in the fire.

The helpless families are now selling off their land and homes to survive, he said.

He urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to stand beside the aggrieved families with financial and other forms of assistance.

On Thursday, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) arranged a programme where they gave compensation to family members of 31 victims of the Churihatta blaze.

"The mayor provided only 31 families with financial support as well as jobs based on qualifications. But no measures have been taken to assist the other families yet," said MA Rahim at the press conference.

At Thursday's programme, DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon said of the victims, only 31 applied for compensation, and that is why they were giving compensation to them.

He said bureaucratic process has taken them a long time to hand over the compensation to the victim families.

Ashik Uddin, a cousin of Wasi Uddin Mahid who was killed in the fire, said, "None of us who are here is a chemical expert. We do not know what harmful chemical was stored inside Hazi Wahed Mansion," that the fire ripped through the structures and its surrounding ones so severely.

He urged landlords not to rent out any more houses for storing such chemicals for money.

Later on the day, the victim families also formed a human chain there. 

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