Ensure safety for mosques
Following the deadly fire in a mosque in Narayanganj on September 4 that has already claimed the lives of 25 people, and severely injured 12 others, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has highlighted the necessity of ensuring that mosques all over the country are built with proper designs and permissions of the authorities concerned. The Religious Affairs ministry has also instructed all mosque committees across the country, especially those that have air-conditioners installed, to take necessary measures to examine and repair electrical connections to avoid accidents.
We reiterate the Prime Minister's position that it is of utmost importance for mosque committees to pay attention to the issue of building and fire safety while designing, constructing and maintaining the mosques that are supposed to be safe havens for Muslims across the country. Mosques that were built without due permissions should urgently address any structural, fire or electrical risks posed to its congregation. In addition, the authorities concerned must carry out their tasks as per their mandate to ensure that the mosques are safeguarded, and that regular inspection and monitoring is carried out in a systematic manner. After all, the onus is on the authorities to ensure due diligence. Reports over the last few days have already highlighted how the accident could have been avoided had the authorities, particularly Titas Gas pipeline, acted in a timely and responsible manner following multiple complaints from the mosque authorities.
The Prime Minister has instructed all concerned to find out the cause of the explosion and to investigate whether there were any irregularities. Four separate probe committees have been formed by four different bodies to investigate the incident. However, we have witnessed too many occasions when nothing concrete came out of such probes despite promises from the authorities that justice will be served. We urge all to pay heed to the Prime Minister's concern and directives and ensure a speedy and fair investigation. While it will not bring back the deceased, it may give some form of solace to their bereaved families and community and prevent such accidents from happening in the future.