Delay in Tazrin fire case questioned

Dhaka,  Mon,  25 September 2017
Published : 14 Aug 2017, 14:31:31 | Updated : 14 Aug 2017, 15:04:20

Workers question State’s delay in Tazrin Fashions fire case

The State has repeatedly failed to produce witnesses in the case over the 2012 Tazrin Fashions fire.

The fire at the garment factory in Savar’s Ashulia led to the deaths of over a hundred workers.

A co-worker of the victims says only seven of about 100 witnesses have testified in the two years since the start of the trial. That aided the suspects named in the case.

The case is currently being heard by the Dhaka Additional District and Sessions Judge’s court.

Though a few witnesses were to testify at a hearing on Sunday, Additional Public Prosecutor Kazi Shahana was not present in court and could not be found, reports attempted to contact the public prosecutor several times by phone between 5pm to 6pm, but was unable to get a response. The prosecutor did not respond to an SMS either.

The judge had previously reprimanded the prosecution for failing to secure depositions at a hearing on Apr 2.

According to Khandker Abdul Mannan, the Chief State Counsel of the Dhaka District and Sessions Judge’s court, he was not notified of the hearing despite an explicit order to all prosecutors to keep him updated on important cases.

Mannan said he would examine the case on Monday and discuss the matter with the additional public prosecutor.

“The State is attempting to delay the case, distance it from the public consciousness and help the accused,” said garment labour leader Shahidul Islam Shobuj.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct 8.

On Nov 24, 2012, a fire at the Tazrin Fashions factory led to the death of 111 workers. Over a 100 other workers were injured or burned in the incident.   

Several officials of the factory authority, including owner Delwar Hossain and his wife Mahmuda, were accused of causing the deaths of workers by not allowing them to leave.

Police submitted the chargesheet in the case against 13 suspects on Dec 13, 2013. The suspects were indicted on Sep 3, 2015.  

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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