The High Court today directed S Alam Group, owner of SS Power I Plant of Banshkhali in Chattogram, to give Tk 5 lakh as initial cost to the family of each victim -- killed in police firing on April 17 this year.
In response to two separate writ petitions, the HC asked the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Chattogram to submit their inquiry reports over the incident in 45 days.
S Alam Group has also been ordered to submit a report on what measures it has taken to compensate the deceased's families and those who were injured and also for their treatments to the HC in 45 days.
The HC directed the authorities concerned of the government and S Alam Group not to harass any innocent labourer or people in the area.
The court also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain why a direction should not be given to form a judicial inquiry committee to probe the incident.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir came up with the order and rule following two separate writ petitions filed by six rights organisations seeking necessary directives on this issue.
Lawyers ZI Khan Panna, Sayeda Rizwana Hasan and Syeda Nasrin appeared for the writ petitioners, while lawyer Arshadur Rouf argued for S Alam Group and Deputy Attorney Generals Bipul Bagmar and Arobindo Kumar Roy represented the state.
Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a leading rights organisation, filed one of the writ petitions as public interest litigation with the HC on April 21, seeking its directive on the authorities concerned to conduct a judicial inquiry into incident of killing and injuring the workers of the SS Power I Plant in Banshkhali.
On April 28, five other rights organisations collectively submitted another writ petition as a PIL seeking HC order on the authorities to conduct a judicial inquiry into the incidents and to stop construction of the power plant till completion of the inquiry.
The petitioner organisations are: Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela); Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast); Nijera Kori (NK); Safety and Rights Society (RSS); and Association for Land Reforms and Development (ALRD).
Six workers of the SS Power I Plant, a joint venture involving S Alam Group, an under-construction coal-fired power plant, were killed and at least 21 others injured during a clash with police in Banshkhali at morning on April 17.