Doubt over justice in Ashulia fire | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 02, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 02, 2012

Doubt over justice in Ashulia fire

The third episode of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap, a joint initiative of BBC Media Action and BBC Bangla Service, is ongoing at the BIAM auditorium in the capital yesterday. Photo: BBC

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A minister and the leader of a garment lobby group at a BBC Sanglap said people responsible for the last week's fire tragedy should be punished, but the audience at the show expressed doubts over justice.
The debate was created after Rahimul Alam from the audience raised a question: “Would it be possible to punish the responsible
persons for the fire incident at Tazreen Fashions on November 24?”
Rahimul was in doubt that the culprits will not be punished.
The BBC Bangladesh Sanglap is a joint initiative of BBC Media Action and BBC Bangla Service.
Commerce Minister GM Quader at the dialogue at BIAM Auditorium said common people are in a confidence crisis as they did not see any punishment in the past for these incidents.
“The government is investigating the incident and justice will be done, at least for this incident,” he said.
Otherwise, the country and its economy may face a serious crisis, the minister said.
“It may leave a negative impact, and it would be very bad for the country, as we are still an import-dominated country,” he said.
Admitting a lack of monitoring by the government, the minister said inadequate workforce and a lack of monitoring are the main reasons for inappropriate supervision in the garment sector.
Echoing the minister, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said: “Whoever they are, they should be punished.”
He said it would not bring good news for the country if justice is not done. “It will put a negative impact on exports and economy,” he said.
“Everyone, including us, will have to take the responsibility,” he said.
The BGMEA president said the absence of a planned industrial zone for the garment factories is also a reason for these incidents.
“We have been demanding for long an industrial zone so that we can relocate our factories there. But none paid heed to us,” he said.
Former education minister Osman Farruq said people's doubts over getting justice are nothing new. “Many investigations were done in the past, but none got punishment,” he said.
He said, already a group is trying to divert the investigation stating the Ashulia incident a conspiracy.
“These are political comments, and such remarks should not be made before the investigation is complete,” he said.
“Exports will definitely be hampered after the latest incident,” he said.
Shirin Akhter, president of Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik Jote, a platform of workers, said the fire incident took place due mainly to negligence and violating rules.
She said the customers in the EU and US have already started raising complaints against the Bangladeshi garment manufacturers after the tragedy.
Anwarul Islam Faruk, a survivor of the fire incident, said the duty managers held them back from escaping the fire.
“Even the fire alarm rang for only three seconds and I now think someone might have switched off the alarm,” he said.

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