2 killed in Gazipur as RMG workers clash with cops
"> Garment workers pelting law enforcers with brick chunks at Ashulia the industrial belt as their agitations for pay hike turn violent yesterday. Photo: StarTwo garment workers were killed and at least 50 injured in a clash between workers and cops at Kashimpur of Gazipur yesterday afternoon.
The dead are Badsha Mia, 25, and Ruma Akter, 22, of GMS Composite Knitting Industries Ltd in Sardaganj of Kashimpur industrial belt.
The clash ensued when several thousand workers went berserk at the factory after a factory official allegedly beat up a female worker.
Meanwhile, labour unrest continued yesterday in Ashulia and Savar over the minimum wage as garment workers took to the streets and clashed with police, leaving at least 52 people injured.
Over 100 garment factories in the area suspended their production for the day.
Witnesses said a production manager of GMS Composite beat up the female worker of the sewing section around 12:30pm, prompting demonstrations by fellow workers at the factory.
When the news spread around, over 10,000 workers started demonstrations outside the factory. At one stage, the authorities opened the main entrance to the factory.
As the protesters resorted to vandalism and pelted brickbats at police, law enforcers retaliated with bullets and tear gas to disperse the troublemakers.
Of the 50 injured, 16 received treatment at Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar.
Badsha, who received a bullet in head, succumbed to his wounds on way to the hospital, said hospital sources.
However, it could not be confirmed how Ruma, whose body bore several injury marks, died.
Police, however, claimed that the workers were injured as they hit walls while trying to come out of the factory.
Both the bodies were sent to Gazipur Sadar Hospital for autopsies.
Alongside police, members of Border Guard Bangladesh were patrolling the area to avoid any deterioration in law and order.
Ashulia and Savar
Six people, including nine-year-old Jony, received bullets and at least 46 others were injured as garment workers clashed with the law enforcers in Ashulia and Savar yesterday over the minimum wage.
The workers have been pressing for a minimum wage of Tk8,114 instead of Tk5,300 as announced by the government following recommendations by the garment workers wage board.
Critically injured Babul, 28, of AM Design Ltd was receiving treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Witnesses said about 12,000 workers of Envoy Group, Palmal Group, and Rose Dresses in Ashulia and Standard Group in Savar gathered in front of their units around 9:00am and started demonstrations.
The trouble began when the protesters hurled brickbats at their factories and also at law enforcers.
At one stage, the agitating workers tried to block the Dhaka-Tangail highway. Law enforcers charged batons, lobbed teargas canisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
Clashes were also reported at Jamgarh, Shimultola, Gorat, Pukurpar, Ghoshbagh and Narshinghpur in Ashulia and Hemayetpur of Savar.