CID asked to explain delay in probe
A Dhaka court yesterday asked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to explain why it was yet to finish the investigation into the Rana Plaza collapse, which killed 1,132 people and injured several hundred seven months ago.
On October 24, Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam asked CID investigators to submit the report by yesterday. As they failed to do that, the court issued a show cause notice and extended the deadline for submission of the probe report to December 24.
Earlier, the CID failed to come up with the report on several occasions on different excuses.
Investigation of the three cases filed by Savar police, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and a victim's family is yet to be completed even after seven months since the country's biggest industrial accident occurred on April 24.
In the meantime, eight accused out of the 22 arrested after the collapse have obtained bail from the High Court. Among them, Abdul Khalek, father of the building's owner Sohel Rana, returned to Savar and is lobbying with influential bodies for his son's bail, said sources in Savar.
Among the three cases under CID investigation, one was filed by Rajuk official Helaluddin against the building's owner Sohel Rana for the structural fault found at the building and constructing it using substandard materials and violating the building code.
The other case was filed by Wali Ashraf, a sub-inspector of Savar Police Station, against Rana, his father Abdul Khalek, and owners of the five garments housed in the nine-storey building for loss of lives and damage.
The last one was filed by Sheuli Akter, wife of Jahangir Alam, whose body was recovered on April 24, against Sohel Rana, Bazlus Samad Adnan, owner of New Wave Style, and chief engineer of the Savar municipality.
Regarding the delay, Assistant Superintendent of Police (CID) Bijoy Krishna Kar told The Daily Star that there was no mandatory provision for completing the probe within a certain time for cases filed under the Penal Code.
He said the investigation was time consuming as they had to collect statements of families of all the deceased as well as survivors, whose number exceeded 1,500.
"They are live witness as well as victims," he said, referring to the survivors. "Besides, we need to collect and analyse all the documents related to the design and construction of the building."
The investigators are also taking into account the findings of other inquiries by government and non-government bodies including the district magistrate, home, labour, LGRD ministries, and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), he said.
Investigation of a normal murder takes two or three months, so it is unfair to expect that the investigation of an incident which killed so many people at a time will be completed in such a short period of time, Kar added.
Meanwhile, charge sheets in two other cases filed by Dhamrai police against Sohel Rana for possession of arms and drugs were submitted earlier and are currently under trial.