Odhikar has issued a full fact finding report on the Rana Plaza tragedy in which government figures state 1,131 people died. The worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh’s history, the event drew much attention and criticism both nationally and internationally.
In this thorough report, Odhikar explores the context of Bangladesh’s garments industry, the background to Rana Plaza, wherein it observes “Upon inquiry by Odhikar it was found that corruption was present at every step of constructing Rana Plaza”, and the tragedy itself. Rana Plaza as a building and what it housed is also detailed.
The report gives consideration to the case of the building owner, Sohel Rana, corruption charges against him and his close affiliation with the ruling party Awami League and one of the latter’s MPs, Murad Jong. Odhikar states Jong assisted Rana in escaping following the buildings collapse. The report further states:
“Having the full support of Murad Jong, Sohel Rana established ‘supremacy’ in the area and got involved in criminal acts. His gang was involved in drug dealing, theft, robbery, extortion at industrial organisations and allegedly even murder. Rana was also involved in forcefully taking possession of land that belonged to members of the Hindu community. He got away with crime due to Murad Jong’s protection.”
Several interviews are conducted with survivors, relatives of victims, journalists, senior members of BGMEA, police officials, rescue service members, hospital staff and others.
The full report can be viewed via the following link –