Blanket factory inside Dhaka jail to be closed
The jail authorities have decided to shut down the 50-year-old blanket factory inside the Dhaka Central Jail and use the factory building for accommodation of prisoners instead.
The authorities took the decision after they won a legal battle yesterday over the lease on the factory on 3.5 acres of land.
According to sources, the jail authorities had been running the factory before leasing it. An entrepreneur took a 25-year lease on the factory in 1983 against a payment of Tk 50,000 per year.
Seven years later, the factory authorities extended the lease for another 27 years.
The lessee had been carrying out production using the same machinery the jail authorities used. They only hired workers from outside.
In February 2007, the jail directorate cancelled the lease and asked the lessee to vacate it within three months.
But the lessee filed a writ petition in May 2007 challenging the cancellation notice. The High Court yesterday gave the verdict, which went in favour of the jail authorities.
The jail authorities took control of the factory following the HC verdict.
Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Zakir Hassan told The Daily Star, "We would arrange accommodation for over 800 prisoners in one part of the building while a garment training centre and a workshop would be set up in the other part to rehabilitate the prisoners."
He said the factory workers and staffers were causing security hazards and engaged in drug peddling inside the jail.