Factory torched following rumour of worker’s death

Seven-member probe committee formed, asked to file report in seven days

Flames in Standard Garments were tamed nearly 12 hours after workers set it on fire Thursday night over rumours that a fellow worker was killed by police.

The flames were tamed around 11am, Gazipur Fire Service and Civil Defence Deputy Assistant Director Akhteruzzaman Liton said.

Primarily, the official estimated losses to be around Tk5bn. Two buildings of the factory, a eight-storeyed and another 10-storeyed were gutted.

Twenty two fire fighting units from Dhaka, Tongi and Gazipur brought flames under control.

Workers engaged in an altercation with police near factory premises around 11pm Thursday, Standard Garments Manager Mushfiqur Rahman said.

The altercation led to a clash and police lobbed some teargas shells to break the chaos, he said.

During this time, someone made an announcement from a loudspeaker in an adjacent mosque that a worker died from police firing, he said.

Some hundreds of workers gathered, vandalised factory premises, and set two buildings on fire, he added.

The workers created a blockade on the road before police fired shots in the air to allow entry to fire fighters around 12:30pm, he said.

Gazipur fire service DAD Akhteruzzaman Liton said the two factories were gutted. “Flames of the eight-storied building was tamed, the fire in the other building was proving a challenge for water crisis.”

Meanwhile, Gazipur police (south) Additional Superintendent rubbished claims of a worker killed. “It is completely baseless.”

Some miscreants committed the arson in a pre-planned fashion, he said.

Gazipur District Commissioner Mohammad Nurul Islam formed a seven-member probe committee, headed by Addititonal District Magistrate Mohamamd Mohsin, over the incident.

The committee was asked to provide a report within seven days.

On the other hand, the official announced the building site risky and barred entry of anyone excluding the fire fighters.

Source: Dhaka Tribune