Saturday, October 20, 2018 | ePaper

Tearful tributes to Rana Plaza victims

Survivors’ wait for justice sees no end

  • Print


Relatives and members of various workers' organisations placing floral wreaths at the graves of Rana Plaza tragedy victims at the Jurain gravyard on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter :
Labor Safety Forum, a right group on Tuesday paid tearful tribute and staged protests demanding quick delivery of justice to victims of Rana Plaza tragedy assessment of compensation and awarding punishments to people responsible for the tragedy.
The forum leaders came up with the demand at a programme commemorating the victims of Rana Plaza collapse. It paid respects to the victims by placing floral wreaths at their graves at Jurain graveyard in Dhaka yesterday.
The Rana Plaza tragedy is the world's worst industrial disasters, when a textile fctory complex collapsed and killed at least 1,130 people.
Several members of the forum including its convener Dr. Hamida Hossain, President of National Labor Alliance, Mejbah Uddin Ahmed, Honarary Executive Director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Service Trust (BLAST) Sara Hossain addressed the programme.
The family members and relatives of the victim of Rana Plaza tragedy broke into tears and demanded capital punishment to Rana plaza owner Sohel Rana, and the guilty.
Md Enamur Rahman, member of Parliament from Savar, also placed wreaths at the site remembering the victims. A doa mahfil was held at Adhar Chandra High School field.
Several hundred people held photos of those unaccounted for since the collapse. About 3,500 workers were inside the complex making clothes for top western brands when tragedy struck.
More than 2,000 were injured in addition to the huge death toll.
But a murder trial in the case has been repeatedly delayed and no one has so far been convicted.
Abdul Awal, 58, visited the ruins in the Dhaka suburb of Savar to honour his 25-year-old daughter, Rozina Khatun. Her body has still not been found.
 "She left an 11-month old son. Her husband got married again, leaving the son to us. Even after   DNA tests on the bodies, I still have no trace of my daughter's body," said a tearful Awal, who comes from the northern rural district of Pabna.
 "The boy does not have any memories of his mother. He doesn't even have a grave to mourn."
Police said some 500 people held demonstrations and marched on the highway in front of the ruins at the start of the day.
Others arrived as the day wore on, placing wreaths at the memorial and the unmarked graves of hundreds of workers whose mangled bodies were never identified.
Workers holding black flags placed wreaths and silently prayed at the graves.
Union leaders and survivors have expressed anger at the slow pace of the trial of Sohel Rana, whose family owned the complex which collapsed after it was illegally extended.
 "We demand justice, We want Rana to be hanged. We want other criminals to be hanged," workers chanted as they marched in front of the hole where the complex once stood. It has since become a pond covered with hyacinths.
 "The injured workers have become the living dead. We demand the quick trial of the culprits. Five years have gone and yet there is hardly any progress in the murder trial," said union leader Jolly Talukder.
Talukder also demanded the release of some $14.5 million, which, she said, was donated to a government fund to help Rana Plaza victims.
Survivors are still haunted by the collapse which trapped more than 2,000 people, some for days.
Sufia Begum, 36, was rescued after nine hours from inside sandwiched floors. She suffered broken vertebrae and ribs and now wears a steel corset.She no longer believes that justice will be served, but still travelled 330 kilometres (205 miles) from her village to pay respects to dead colleagues.
Fatima Begum came to the site with her five-year old granddaughter, who was born 21 days after her father died in the disaster. "I want my grandchildren's future to be taken care of. We are ordinary people, we have been asking for the last five years," she told media.
Others survivors recalled bitterly how reluctant employees were forced to work on the day of the disaster despite cracks appeared on the day in columns supporting the complex.
"It was cold-blooded murder," said one.
The sector employs some four million workers but wages start at $65 a month, among the world's lowest.
Groups which oversee safety upgrades say factories have improved since the tragedy. The 20 reported accidents in 2017 was the lowest number in recent years.
A group representing more than 100 European brands warned, however, that "major life-threatening safety concerns remain" among the country's 4,500 textile plants.
Several foreigners representing international textile brands visited the memorial to pay respects to the dead workers.

More News For this Category

Level crossing, a death trap

Md Joynal Abedin Khan :Hundreds of people reportedly lost their lives while crossing the level crossings through out the country in last 18 years.The dilapidated condition of 2,835-km railway network

Indo-Bangla deal on use of ports soon

Staff Reporter :Bangladesh is ready to sign three important agreements with India at the end of this month allowing India to use Chattogram and Mongla ports to transport cargoes to

A goods laden covered van overturned on the street underneath the Kuril Flyover as driver lost control of the vehicle on Friday.

A goods laden covered van overturned on the street underneath the Kuril Flyover as driver lost control of the vehicle on Friday.

Oikya Front commits mistake briefing diplomats at beginning: Quader

UNB, Gazipur :Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said the newly formed Jatiya Oikyafront has committed a mistake at the beginning of its journey by complaining to foreigners

Oikya Front reschedules its Sylhet rally for Oct 24

Staff Reporter :Jatiya Oikya Front leaders said that they would go to Sylhet for offering Fatiha, even in the case of the police's refusal in giving them permission to hold

Three killed including police commander as Taliban attack on top US commander

AFP, Kandahar :A Taliban-claimed attack on the top US commander in Afghanistan and senior Afghan security officials Thursday killed at least three people and sent the government scrambling to secure

No possibility of Khaleda's release before election

Gulam Rabbani :The 11th Parliamentary election may be held in the month of December, but BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's release before the election seems remote.Though her lawyers are hopeful about

Woman 'throws' newborn, then 'jumps off' bldg

UNB, Brahmanbaria :A young housewife reportedly jumped off a hospital building after throwing her newborn child at Jail Road in the district town on Friday morning, killing both of them.The

Bikalpa Dhara splits

Bikalpa Dhara splits

Staff Reporter :Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh has formed its new committee sans its President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, Secretary General Abdul Mannan and Senior Joint-Secretary General Mahi B Chowdhury.The new committee has

Crackdown on social media in BD: HRW

The Bangladesh government has embarked upon intensive and intrusive surveillance and monitoring of social media ahead of national elections, raising concern over a chilling effect on speech, Human Rights Watch