The role of the government and its law enforcement agencies is under question as Jubo League leader Sohel Rana still remains at large, four days after his nine-storey Rana Plaza caved in at Savar leading to huge casualties.
However, police arrested two engineers of Savar Municipality around 4:30am yesterday, hours after they rounded up two owners of a garment factory that used to be in the high rise.
Later, a Dhaka court placed the four on remand for different terms in two cases in connection with the accident.
“We have raided the houses of many relatives of Rana to arrest him, but we couldn’t trace him,” said Habibur Rahman, superintendent of Dhaka district police.
On Friday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered arrest of Rana and four proprietors of the garment units housed in the building.
The four arrested yesterday are Bazlus Samad Adnan, 45, chairman of New Wave Buttons, and its managing director Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, 46, Executive Engineer of Savar Municipality Emtemam Hossain, 51, and its Assistant Engineer Alam Miah, 45.
The factory owners were remanded for 12 days each, while the engineers for eight days each in the two cases.
They were arrested for forcing the workers to join work at the factory and the engineers for playing down the danger from the cracks in the high rise.
Hours after several cracks developed in the building on Tuesday, its owner Rana claimed that the cracks were nothing serious.
He also called in the Savar upazila nirbahi officer and the two engineers of Savar Municipality to certify that the building was not risky.
Sources said police detained Rana’s wife Mitu Akhter and his cousin Jahangir Alam, Jahangir’s wife Munni Begum and another relative Anwar Hossain for questioning. But SP Habibur Rahman and Officer-in-charge of Savar Police Station Md Asaduzzaman denied such detentions.
Law enforcers last night arrested Aminul Islam, 50, owner and chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tack Ltd, near the BGMEA office in the capital’s Karwan Bazar. The garment units were housed in the building.
Meanwhile, 64-year-old mother of Rana died at of one her relative’s house in Singair upazila of Manikganj around 6:30pm yesterday, reported a private TV channel.
At a rally in the afternoon, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain complained that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina helped Rana escape arrest as he is a Jubo League leader. He was addressing the rally before the BNP’s central office in the capital’s Nayapaltan.
State Minister for Home Shamsul Huq Tuku yesterday warned that legal action would be taken against anybody if found guilty of sheltering Rana.
As per legal provisions, the maximum punishment in the case filed by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) is a jail term of seven years, while in the other case it is a term of imprisonment of five years.
Additional Public Prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul said the punishment for such offences should be increased to ensure such incidents do not recur.
SUPPLY OXYGEN AT SAVAR: HC
The High Court last night issued a suo moto rule asking Bangladesh Oxygen Company (BOC) to supply adequate oxygen immediately to the victims of the building collapse in Savar, said court sources.
The HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain issued the rule following reports aired by private television channels mentioning that immediate supply of oxygen could save more lives at the accident site.