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25 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Six years of Rana Plaza tragedy

Victim families, survivors call for justice, compensation

Survivor falls sick on hunger strike at Savar building site
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Victim families, survivors call for justice, compensation
Grieving relatives and activists of different organisations place wreaths at the Rana Plaza memorial in Savar to pay homage to people who fell victim to the building collapse six years ago. The victims and survivors in one of the greatest industrial disasters in the history still cry for compensation, justice and rehabilitations. Photo: Nazmul Islam

One of the Rana Plaza survivors fell sick yesterday as he has been observing a hunger strike at the site of the collapsed building in Savar since Monday. Mahmudul Hasan Hridoy, 32, who worked on the eighth floor of Rana Plaza, started the strike with an 11-point charter of demands. Later, he was joined by other survivors and family members of victims.

They are observing the hunger strike in front of the now empty plot, where the nine-storey building collapsed on April 24, 2013. Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of Rana Plaza disaster, which claimed at least 1,134 lives back in 2013.

Rana Plaza, was owned by Sohel Rana, allegedly a member of the local Jubo League unit, youth wing of the ruling Awami League (AL). The building housed a number of separate garments factories employing around 5,000 people, several shops, and a bank.

More survivors also expressed solidarity with Hridoy and demanded exemplary punishment for those whose negligence brought about the tragedy. After Hridoy, another survivor of the tragedy fell sick and later given saline.

Talking to the Independent, Hridoy said that he would continue the strike as long as their demands were not met. “Six years have passed since the collapse, but no one has received proper justice. So, I will continue the hunger strike,” he added.

His demands are: paying Tk. 48 lakh as compensation to each of the affected family in the Rana Plaza incident, rehabilitation of the victims, bearing the  medical expenses for survivors, declaring the day of the tragedy as National Mourning Day, paying education costs of the children of those who were injured or deceased in the incident, highest punishment of the perpetrators, seizing the wealth of the perpetrators, providing treatment to rescuers who were injured during the rescue, construction of a permanent mausoleum in remembrance of victims, free treatment for the family members of the deceased, injured or missing, jobs to those affected in the incident.

However, The Independent found that the site of Rana Plaza has become the dumping ground of garbage. The front portion of the land are now occupied by shops and illegal parking lots. A temporary monument has been erected there to memorise the victims of the tragedy.

Locals complained that influential people were trying to seize the land. Besides, workers' leaders are demaning that new markets be built in the area and financial compensations be provided to the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

According to a media report, state minister for disaster management and relief, Md Enamur Rahman, said that the government had nothing to do with the plot of land as it was a private property belonging to Sohel Rana.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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