Marking the seventh anniversary of the deadly fire incident at Tazreen Fashions factory in Ashulia, survivors and family members of the dead victims today demanded capital punishment of the people responsible for it.
Their other demands include: adequate compensation to dead victims' families and survivors, rehabilitation of survivors and making a security fund for factory workers, reports our Savar correspondent.
At least 113 workers were killed and 172 were injured as the fire wrecked the garments factory in November 2012.
This morning, the participants at a rally urged the government to acquire the factory land and build a hospital and a dormitory there to rehabilitate the affected workers.
Labour leaders and activists of rights bodies joined the rally in front of Tazreen Fashions factory in Ashulia today around 7:00am and placed wreaths in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the incident.
Shobita Rani, a worker who had received serious injury in her head and back while trying to escape the fire seven years ago, lamented how she couldn’t turn her life around yet.
“I started a mini factory along with other survivors of the fire in Buripara area last year in October, but could not run it due to financial crisis,” she lamented.
Now the 40-year-old is struggling to make ends meet.
“The government has not done enough for the Tazreen Fashion fire victims and we demand adequate compensation,” said Shilpi Akter, 30, another survivor of Tazreen Fashion fire.
She had received serious injured while jumping from the third floor of the building over an adjacent two storied tin-shed structure. Since her recovery, she has not been able to obtain any secure job because of trauma and pain.
Even after seven years, the injured and deceased’s family have not received their due compensation and neither have the perpetrators been brought to book, said Khairul Mamun Mintu organising secretary of Garments Sramik Trade Union Kendra.
What happened on the fateful day?
At least 113 workers were killed and 172 injured on November 24, 2012, in the fire at Tazreen, some 35km south of Dhaka.
When the fire broke out, the workers attempted to leave the building through the front gate, but the management had locked it from outside. Most of the survivors were left with little choice but to jump off the upper-storey windows of the building.
Status of the cases
Two cases were filed with Ashulia Police Station against the factory owner and others. Police submitted charge sheets in both cases against 13 people, including the factory owner Delwar Hossain, on September 2015.
The cases are currently under trial at the Additional Sessions Judge Court-1 in Dhaka.
About the progress of the case, Shahidul Islam Sabuj, convener of Revolutionary Garments-Textile Workers Forum, said the most of the time witnesses remain absent on hearing dates.
Witnesses were present on only 6 out of 36 deposition dates, he claimed, blaming public prosecutors for negligence in handling the case.
Meanwhile Abdul Motin, brother of a victim, filed another case with the High Court over the incident, which too was transferred to the Additional Sessions Judge Court-1.
Tazreen's Managing Director Delwar was sent to jail in February 2014 on charges of causing deaths by negligence, but released on bail six months later.
Labour leader Shabuj suspects that Delwar is trying to obtain his seized passport to leave the country.