Vol. 5 Num 463 Tue. September 13, 2005  

16 garment workers get 3 years' RI

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced 16 garment workers, including 8 females of M/S Honorway Textiles and Apparels Private Limited in Savar, to three years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for ransacking BEPZA office in April this year.

On hearing the verdict, most of the convicts broke down in tears and got fainted.

Mohammad Ziauddin, First Class Magistrate of the Speedy Trial Court handed down the sentence in presence of the convicts.

The convicts are Abdur Rashid, Nashima, Roman Mollah, Kamala, Beauty Saha, Shumi Akhter, Rafiqul Islam, Parvin, Khaleda, Moktar Hossain, Lutful kabir, Lal Miah, Sufia, Abdur Rahman, Aparna Mondol and Bazlur Rahman.

All the convicts except Aparna and Bazlur Rahman were present in the court during the delivery of the verdict.

The punishment of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender, the court said.

The court fined them Tk 2,000 each, in default, to suffer six months more in jail.

The court also acquitted 20 others of charges.

Over 1500 garment workers attacked the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) office and ransacked its furniture, doors and windows at about 10:00am on April 10 this year following the conflict over the ownership of the garments factory.

Later, ATM Saiful Islam, deputy general manager of BEPZA, filed a case against 64 garment workers under the Speedy Trial (Law and Order Disruption) Act the same day in this connection. But the investigation officer pressed charges against 36 workers on April 17.

The convicts told The Daily Star that they were implicated in the case to save the owners of the garment factory and divert the issue to a different course. "Our family members will starve following the judgement," the convicts said.