Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013


Building owner held in Benapole


Sohel Rana, the owner of the nine-storey Savar building that collapsed four days ago, has been brought to Dhaka Sunday afternoon by a helicopter couple of hours into his arrest in Benapole, Jessore district.

The helicopter of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) landed at Tejgaon old airport around 5:00pm from where he was taken to the headquarters of the elite force at Uttara.

A Rab team arrested Rana around 3:05pm at his friend’s residence in Ball Field area, reported our Jessore correspondent.

“Sohel Rana was arrested in Benapole five minutes ago,” State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters in Savar, site of the Rana Plaza, around 3:10pm.

He will be brought to Dhaka by a helicopter, the minister added.

Rana took shelter in the second floor of the four-storey rented house of his friend Mithu, a furniture trader, our correspondent said quoting locals.

Two cases were filed against Jubo League leader Rana who was on the run since the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar on the outskirts of the capital.

The Rana Plaza housing five readymade garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex, caved in on Wednesday trapping several thousands of people inside it.

At least 369 people were found dead in the building collapse till Sunday afternoon.

Police however arrested three owners of the factories and two engineers of Savar Municipality in connection with the cases filed over the building collapse.

Law enforcers raided the houses of many relatives of Rana in Dhaka and other districts to arrest him till Sunday noon.

On Friday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered arrest of Rana.

On April 23, several cracks developed on some pillars and a few floors of the building following a jolt, causing panic among the people working there.

The industrial police visited the building that day and asked them [the building authorities] not to open the building. But the warnings and instructions were ignored leading to the collapse.

Workers of at least two garment factories at Rana Plaza were forced to join their workplaces following a false assurance on the building’s safety from a local engineer, relatives of the victims alleged.


Two cases were filed with Savar Police Station Wednesday night following the building collapse.

Helaluddin, an authorised officer of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), filed a case against Rana for the structural fault found at the building and constructing the structure using substandard materials and violating building code.

Wali Ashraf, a sub-inspector of Savar Police Station, filed the other case against Rana, his father Abdul Khalek and the owners of the five garments housed in the building for loss of lives and damages.

  • Dr. Binoy Barman

    Hang the killer!

    • masum

      Why not government ask for help to international organazation for saver tragedy?

      • subterraneo

        For relief or excavation? There are already plenty of relief materials for the injured and many volunteers who are willing to donate blood. And it will be too late to ship heavy equipment to Chittagong and bring them to Savar for assembly. So the best option is to rely on the three cranes already brought to the site.

  • ScouseBengali

    This tragedy should have resulted in an immediate review of every single building in Bangladesh to ensure that government officials and civil servants (RAJUK) have not been paid off in order to approve construction. The arrest of one, two or three individuals will not do a thing to resolve this epidemic of building collapses due to corrupt practices.

  • Snr Citizen

    The writing is supposed to be on the wall. How many people one needs to kill to ride the gallows?

  • Rashid Ahmed

    Why this criminal is brought by helicopter? Does he deserve a helicopter ride? What a shameless effort of NANOK to protect a criminal friend and associate! He is given a safe ride to safety. Nanok knew he might be intercepted on the road by the common people and be killed on the road by agitated people. Thank you government of Awami League.

    • faruque ahmed

      it is not so wise thinking.”bangla vai’ was also carried on chopper…finally is bout his proper punishment.

    • Wasim Khan

      Please for once appreciate the fact that the govt. kept its word,caught the guy,brought him ASAP to Dhaka, that’s why the chopper ride mr. Rashid, so he can be brought to justice swiftly, what is BNP doing in this moment of national crisis? They are cheering from the sidelines ,crtisizing everything,when they should have stood beside army,firemen,red cricsent, countless voulentiers, how inhuman is that? On top of everything BNP wish to cause further misery by calling hartal on 2nd may, I say shame on BNP leaders,you are better off inside jail!

  • Imtiaz

    Not only owner but also the approving authority? Where is the chairman of RAJUK? or his corrupted engineers and inspectors??

  • Niger Dil Nahar

    He should not go unpunished… hang this bloody killer in front of Rana Plaza…

  • Iqbal Ali Khan

    I agree to regular checks of buildings and construction methodology. Professionals, engineers, should be on a regular basis hired and respective associations should check without any break. Only Govt cannot ensure safety of every individual in the country. Good efforts on arrest. Congratulations RAB, 3 cheers to our PM.

  • Dane

    Several thousand workers, machines, textiles etc… all these people and weight in a badly constructed 8 story building where one can even be forced to work?… who regulates all of this in bangla? In Denmark we have fire, people-safety, construction and electricity-inspections carried out by specialized state-departments, and everything can in matters of conflict be tried by various courts.

    • subterraneo

      In Bangladesh, it is called RAJUK.

  • Snr Citizen

    All those who have been involved in approving and building the structure MUST be given EXEMPLARY Punishment, for Thousands of evil people to ABANDON any nefarious plans to build such properties. Let the Govt show how impartial it is when it comes to doing justice. Rajuk Chairman has many questions to answer as well.

  • Parveen Ahmed

    he was arrested four days after the incident, and only after the PM gave a direct order.And how did he make it to Benapole in the first place? Was it in an official vehicle, like Banglabhai?

  • Dr Abdul-Hannan Sikdar

    There will be no justice, with or without Rana beng hanged. B’desh govts (no difference between BNP or AL) are fundamentally corrupt, & the current political structure of BD maintains their corruption (at every level: safety standards, inspectors, police, courts etc). Unless there is a change in the political system don’t expect any change!

  • Wasim Khan

    I salute our law I forcemeat agencies, RAB , Police etc. for their swift role on getting the culprits. Previously the civil engineers, garment owners & now the evil Rana, just like the PM promised in Parliament. Please make this an example for all , let justice prevail . Thank you PM for keeping your word now we want justice.

  • subterraneo

    Pure mob mentality – if you or your close ones were alleged of or guilty of something, would you have desired mob justice by Shahbagh occupiers?

  • Rashid Ahmed

    His alternate limbs should be cut-off by the garments workers in front of his ‘Rana Plaza’ in Savar. Those who will oppose this, should also meet the same fate.

  • Khan Kalam

    How many buildings in BD are built to follow the rules and regulations? When my family built our family house in Barisal town, they exactly left the required space empty from each side of the building to set up a good example. Unfortunately our neighbour did the opposite – they used their every inch of land, so they can easily jump from their roof to our. This mal practise is happening every town in BD. Officials of RJUK, City corp and Municipality should be responsible for these illegal practises.

  • Mohammad Nurul Hoque

    Good news. Many many thanks to the RAB. Now government should do murder case against him. Every guardian has wright to the same kind of case.

  • Elpadrinobc

    Finally he is caught. Now its time to catch all the corrupt engineers, especially the ones involved in construction and the infamous railway department. Many many many thanks to the brave souls who have helped, gave blood took life risks and the selfless doctors who have been treating the ones who survived. Bangladesh has hope to survive, thrive despite threats from Terrosit Islamists abd despite the cancerrous corruptions that our society is so mich invojlved in. We ourselves have allowed this to happen. Most of the so called respected men in the front row of a daily Jumma sermon in any mosque are corrupt in one way or the other. Now this statement of mine may seem to be a generalisation but you can check it out. Instead of saying “wah wah” or “bahoba” to these corrupt amongst us we should castigate them and dob them to the relevant authorities.

  • Iftekhar Hassan

    Super greedy, humanity’s lowest form of denominator Sohel Rana looks very healthy and well fed while on the run from long arm of the law. His friends must have fed him (pet thaisha bhaat khawaichea). I was wondering if, RAB used some UTTAM/MAIDOM teaching to fix his greedy mind as preliminary introduction. I hear they caught him with some drug call Fencidil on his possession. That means this greedy man is also a drug addict.

    Almost 400 people dead…I just can not imagine, this is just too much sorrow.

  • sunburn

    I would said dragged to Dhaka ; if he survives good luck — at least he will understand the pain of slow death of even a single person .

  • Iftekhar Hassan

    Even BGMEA bhaban is illegal and may have serious flaws. What happened to high court rules to tear down that building? Lets apply laws and order of justice.

    High Court of Bangladesh ordered the demolition of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) headquarters for various reason including disrupting the free flow of water in Begunbari canal and Hatirjheel lake, forgery, and construction without proper permits.

    This building sits on a natural wetland and proper pilling of earth was not done by any test boring and study of site topography. The Court ruled that BGMEA constructed its headquarters on a filled wetland in Hatrjheed lake, and blocked the normal flow of the Begunbari canal. As a result, the construction violated both the Wetlands Protection Act and the Environment Conservation Act, 1995. Also, the environmental impact process (EIP), a regulatory mechanism to evaluate the project impact to the environment.h.

    The Court also found that the alleged transfer of land on which the building stands was illegal as it violated the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950. According to the Act, the state can only acquire private land for public interest purposes. Yet, the government transferred the acquired land to BGMEA, a private entity, for its business purposes in violation of the Act. Well, BGMEA have control over both political party in Bangladesh as its members shower both Awami League and BNP with crores upon crores of Takas as bribe.

  • Saleh Mohammad Ayub

    Now that the owner of the collapsed building that killed more than 300 hundred people and injured many, it is time for the regime in power to show that this criminal does not belong to their party as has been claimed by the Prime Minister in the Parliament. The only punishment he deserves is death penalty, nothing short of this shall be a mockery of law. He is no less a criminal than the war criminals, those who committed heinous crimes against humanity during the war for independence. The bloggers demanding death penalty to the war criminals led by Dr. Imran H Sarker at Shahbagh square, should now come forward to ensure that this vicious criminal does not go unpunished.

  • Nizzy Niz

    Why giving him free helicopter ride?

    • subterraneo

      see discussion above

  • Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

    We know BD politics. This is all for show. Nothing is going to happen to him as he is part of the ruling party.

  • Khaleda Alam from Canada

    You are right. Thank you. Joy Bangladesh