Cargo vessel involved in Meghna launch tragedy seized
After 34 days of the tragic launch capsize in Meghna river, coast guard personnel yesterday seized the cargo vessel 'MV City-1' responsible for the accident that claimed at least 147 lives.
Law enforcers seized the cargo vessel on Meghna river near Rajrajeshwar area in Chandpur sadar upazila at 10:40am and arrested 12 crew members aboard the vessel, said Jahurul Haque, commander of Chandpur coast guard station.
Coast guards waylaid the vessel as it was heading towards the capital from Chittagong, Jahurul told The Daily Star.
Probe bodies formed earlier to investigate the accident held the vessel responsible for the launch capsize.
On April 16, BIWTA issued a public notice through different national dailies seeking information of the vessel. The notice announced Tk 1 lakh reward to the informer.
Top level officials of BIWTA and Department of Shipping visited the spot hours after seizure of the cargo boat.
Talking to reporters, BIWTA Chairman Shamsuddoha Khandaker said, " As per the law, maximum punishment will be set against the cargo vessel. We will take strong initiative so that the perpetrators cannot escape punishment because of loopholes in the law."
The MV Shariatpur-1 sank at Gazaria area in Munshiganj on March 13 after collision with the cargo vessel. Two separate cases were filed in this connection--one with Gazaria Police Station in Munshiganj and the other with marine court.
Department of Shipping Executive Magistrate Mashiur Rahman told The Daily Star that initially the arrestees would be detained in Narayanganj sadar Police Station. Further decision concerning them will be taken later.
The arrestees are Shahidul Islam (master), 54, Amir Hossain (driver), 42, and other crew members Rafiqul Islam, 35, Zafar, 27, Shahid, 25, Babul Hossain, 28, Niyamat, 19, Sanowar Hossain, 32, Yousuf, 19, Nuruzzaman, 28, Mobarak Ali, 22 and Monir Hossain, 32.
The cargo boat, under police custody, was handed over to the BIWTA authorities of Narayanganj unit, said Mahbubl Alam, secretary of BIWTA.
Fazlur Rahman, chairman of City Group, one of the largest commodity traders in the country, owns the cargo vessel, said BIWTA officials.