RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Savar, Narayanganj
The workers of readymade garment (RMG) factories in Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj on Thursday blocked five highways and resorted to vandalism protesting the death of their fellows in Savar building collapse.
They also clashed with law enforcers, leaving 20 people including seven policemen, injured in Adamjee Export Processing Zone (EPZ) area in Narayanganj.
Police fired eight rounds of shotgun and lobbed one teargas shell to disperse the unruly workers in the area, said Mohammad Masud, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) in Narayanganj.
More than 200 people, mostly garment were killed 1,200 injured as a nine-storey building collapsed on Wednesday in Savar. The casualties are expected to increase with the rescue operation under way.
The workers were also demanding punishment of the people involved in the tragedy.
The authorities of several garment units in Savar and Gazipur declared a leave for Thursday, fearing vandalism and violence.
The marauding workers vandalised more than three garment factories and five vehicles during their protest in Gazipur.
Contacted, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said it did not officially order its members to shut their factories.
“They (the factory owners) will take decisions measuring the risk,” Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the trade body, told The Daily Star.
They heard of some stray incidents of protests and vandalism following the Savar building collapse.
Nearly 10,000 workers blocked Chandona intersection around 8:45am that linked three highways– Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Gazipur.
The authorities of several garments factories closed their factories for today centring the workers demonstration that started around 8:45am, reported our correspondent quoting AAM Shuhaed, general manager of Global Merchant Ltd, an adjacent factory.
They vandalised BB Garments and SM Garments adjacent the intersection and SQ Crystal Ltd at Teknagarpara.
At least 20 people including seven policemen were injured as workers got into a clash with policemen in Adamjee EPZ area.
The clash ensued as workers of different garment factories at Fatullah and Kanchpur and other locations blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong highway for three hours from 10:00am.
Several thousand apparel workers from Shimrail area also joined them and vandalised several vehicles in the area, sparking a clash with the law enforcers, reports our Narayanganj correspondent.
Workers hurled brick chips, leaving the seven policemen including an assistant superintendent of police injured.
Police fired eight bullets from shotguns and lobbed one teargas shell and also charged batons to disperse the agitators, leaving at least 13 workers injured.
Before blocking the highways, they vandalised a garment factory, Fashion City, and a customs office and set fire to the office in Adamjee EPZ area.
However, police denied the angry workers' claim saying that two of their fellows were bullet-hut during the clash, said the ASP.
Over 20,000 workers of several garment factories have been staging demonstration blocking Dhaka-Narayanganj highway at Kanchpur area since 11:30am, our Narayanganj correspondent reported.
The traffic movement on Dhaka-Sylhet and Dhaka-Chittagong highways remain suspend around 1:00pm when this report was filed.
Nearly 50 people attacked AKH Group, a garment factory, near Hemayetpur Bus Stand in Savar Thursday morning.
The people threw brick chips and vandalised window panes of the factory around 12:30pm, spreading panic among workers, said the deputy managing director of the factory.
Later, the authorities declared their factory closed for today.