18-party calls off countrywide hartal

Demands proper probe into Savar building collapse tragedy

News - 18-party calls off countrywide hartal
 The BNP-led 18-party alliance withdrew its hartal programme across the country following a building collapse near Savar bus stand on the outskirt of the capital on Wednesday morning.
BNP chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu announced the decision of the alliance in an emergency press briefing around 3:30pm at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
He said the decision was taken to ensure the smooth rescue operation in the crashed building and quick sending of the injured to hospitals and their proper treatment.
Just an hour earlier, BNP standing committee member MK Anwar at another press briefing said the alliance called the hartal off in Dhaka metropolitan city and the entire Dhaka district.
The opposition alliance enforced the 36-hour shutdown at 6am on Tuesday to press home their various demands, including the release of top BNP leaders. The hartal was scheduled to end at 6.00pm today.
Earlier, in the morning, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia relaxed the hartal in Savar after the tragic incident and asked her party leaders and activists to take part in the rescue operation, Dudu told a press briefing in the morning.
The BNP chief also expressed deep shock over the loss of huge lives in the incident.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the opposition leader to withdraw their ongoing hartal to ensure smooth rescue operation in Savar and sending the injured to hospitals and also to allow the relatives of the victims to travel in to the sport from across the country.
The opposition BNP demanded a fair investigation into the building collapse incident.
Briefing reporters, MK Anwar claimed that Savar Pourasava unit Jubo League leader Masud Rana is the owner of the building.
He alleged that the ruling party leader using his political clout constructed the building on a government land without taking any permission from the relevant authorities flouting the building code.
He demanded an immediate and proper probe into the incident and an exemplary punishment of those responsible for the disastrous incident.
He also demanded proper compensation for those killed and injured in the incident.
Some 100 bodies were recovered from the debris of the building, ‘Rana Plaza’, that collapsed all of a sudden after a big bang around 9.00am.
At least 200 injured people were rescued from the rubbles of the crashed buildings. They were admitted to different local hospitals and clinics in critical conditions.
Bangladesh Army along with a medical team, BGB members, local fire service personnel and police were conducting the rescue operation till filing of the report around 4.45 pm.
Source: UNB Connect

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