Tazreen tragedy trial lingers in deposition delays
A number of organisations on Friday will observe the fifth anniversary of Tazreen Fashions tragedy.
As many as 112 workers died and 200 others got injured on November 24 in 2012 in a deadly fire incident at Tazreen Fashions at Nishchintapur of Ashulia, in Dhaka district.
Five years passed by but so far deposition of only 12 out of 104 prosecution witnesses in the case related to this incident have been completed.
Advocate Kazi Shahanara, Additional Public Prosecutor of 1st Additional District and Session Judge, told UNB that most of the prosecution witnesses had been living besides Tazreen Fashons in rented houses and they left the area after the tragedy. That is why, investigation officer failed to collect permanent addresses of the witnesses, she said.
As most of the victims' families as well as injured workers are very poor, many of them are allegedly biased by accused people. They are reluctant to give deposition before the court, she said.
"Though we are trying to dispose the case as early as possible but it has been taking time due to lack of presence of prosecution witnesses," she added.
However, defence lawyer Advocate Faruk Ahmed blamed state lawyers for lingering trial of the case. Negligence of state lawyers is one of main reason for lingering the trial, he alleged.
Mushrefa Mishu, the president of Garments Sramik Oikkya Forum on Thursday demanded to arrest Delwar Hossain, the owner of Tazreen Fashions, canceling his bail immediately and to provide the families of the dead workers with Tk48 lakh each as compensation.
Though five years have passed by since the incident, survivors and the families of the dead workers have not received proper compensation yet, said she said at a press conference.
Mishu said according to the report of the investigation committee, formed after the tragedy, stated that the tragic fire incident occurred due to the negligence of the owner. But no punishment is met out to Delwar or any others who were responsible for the occurrence, even after five years of the tragic incident, she added.
A UNB report said she also alleged that, police are not presenting the witnesses before court during the trial and case hearing days. "The witnesses are also being threatened to not to appear before the court," she added.
On December 22, 2013, Criminal Investigation department (CID) Inspector AKM Mohsinuzzaman Khan submitted the charge sheet brining homicide charges against the 13 accused, including Toba Group owner and Tazreen's Managing Director Delwar Hossain, his wife and Tazreen Chairman Mahmuda Akter, and six others officials - Shahiduzzaman Dulal, M Mahbubul Morshed, Hamidul Islam, Md Al Amin (2) and Anisur Rahman., in the case filed by Ashulia police.