Police yesterday arrested 25 garment workers from Ashulia and Savar industrial zones for their alleged involvement in vandalism, looting goods from factories, and torching vehicles during the weeklong labour unrest that ended on Tuesday.
So far, 10 separate cases have been filed with Ashulia and Savar police stations against 215 named and more than 1,000 unnamed garment workers for their alleged involvement in vandalism and looting, police officers said.
Sha Migan Shafiur Rahman, superintendent of police (SP) in Dhaka at a press conference said so far 25 workers had been arrested for their involvement in the weeklong unrest.
Upon restoration of normalcy in the zones and amid deployment of a large number of law enforcers following eight days of unrest in the RMG sector, many workers were seen filing into work in the Ashulia zone yesterday.
The number of workers returning to work yesterday was significantly higher than that of the previous day, said factories sources. Members of law enforcing agencies were seen at different points of Ashulia and Savar yesterday.
Sana Shaminur Rahman, SP of Dhaka-1 industrial police, said workers went back to the factories which were all running in full force.
Although all the factories were now running in Ashulia and Savar, a large number of workers in the large industrial belt were worried about suspension or termination as some of the factories started suspending and terminating workers for their alleged involvement in the unrest.
So far more than 800 workers of different factories had been laid off. The factory managements also put up lists and photographs of the terminated workers at the entrance of the factories.
Talking to The Daily Star, workers said they had to stay out of their homes as police were carrying raids there almost every night. They also alleged that factory authorities have filed false cases to harass them.
Many suspended workers alleged that they had only demonstrated inside the factory peacefully to reform or eliminate the new wage structure. Factory authorities, however, suspended them illegally.
Earlier, thousands of garment workers demonstrated on streets demanding revision of the new wage structure.