HC orders confiscation of Rana, factory owners’ property

1 held in capital for helping Rana to flee

In this April 29 photo, detectives are seen taking Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza, out of a court in the capital.

In this April 29 photo, detectives are seen taking Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza, out of a court in the capital.

The High Court on Tuesday directed the government to immediately confiscate all the movable and immovable property of Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, and the proprietors of five garment factories housed in the Savar building that collapsed on Wednesday.

The HC however said that it may modify its order when the bench will release its full text.

The HC also ordered the inspector general of registration to issue a circular to all the registrars across the country to take step so that their properties are not transferred or sold.

The four other accused are: Anisur Rahman, chairman of Ether Tex; Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tack Ltd; Bazlus Samad Adnan, chairman of New Wave Buttons; and its managing director Mahbubur Rahman Tapash.

The court fixed May 8 for further order on the issue.

During the day’s hearing, the HC ordered the Bangladesh Bank to freeze all the bank accounts of the accused and pay the salaries and benefits of garment workers from their accounts through Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

The HC also ordered the Bangladesh Bank governor to issue a circular in this regard.

The court further asked the inspector general of registration and the central bank governor to submit separate reports in seven days after complying with the order.

The High Court Bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar formed a committee headed by general officer commanding (GOC) of 9 Infantry Division to find a way for paying compensation to Rana Plaza victims and how to rehabilitate them.

Deputy commissioner of Dhaka and superintendent of police in Dhaka; representatives from BGMEA, health ministry, housing and public works ministry, labour ministry, five garment factories, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), an economist and two doctors will also be included in the committee.

The committee was asked to submit a preliminary report before the court within a month.

The bench asked the officer-in-charge of Savar Police Station to submit a report before the court in every two weeks on the development on the two cases filed against the owner of Rana Plaza and garment factories.

The court also asked the police to run the cases against them.

The court came up with the orders after police produced all the five before it in the morning complying with its April 25 order.

The court summoned the accused so that they could explain their role in connection with the building collapse.

The Rana Plaza housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex collapsed on Wednesday, trapping unspecified number of people inside it.

So far, 385 people were found dead and 2,437 others pulled out alive from the ruins.

Two cases were filed against Rana, his father Abdul Khalek, five owners of the garment factories and several others in connection with the building collapse Wednesday night.

Rana was arrested at Benapole in Jessore, four days into the building collapse.

One-day after his arrest, Rana was placed on a 15-day remand in connection with the cases.

RANA’S AIDE HELD

Meanwhile, law enforcers arrested a man on charges of helping Sohel Rana to flee.

Rapid Action Battalion raided a house in Malibagh area of the capital around 1:30am Tuesday and arrested Abul Hasan, 43, of Faridpur, said Abhisekh Ahmed, an official of the elite force’s legal and media wing.

The arrest was made as Hasan helped Rana in making a plan to escape in India, the official added.

Abul, a rice and oil trader, sheltered Rana in his village home at Hoglakandi in Sadar upazila of Faridpur district on his way to Benapole, the Rab official added.

Abul and Rana are relatives, he added.

CASES

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.

RANA’S ARREST, REMAND

On Sunday, four-day into the building collapse, a team of Rapid Action Battalion arrested Rana at Benapole in Jessore in connection with the two cases filed against him following the building collapse.

On Monday, the Senior Judicial Magistrate Court in Dhaka ordered interrogation of Rana under a 15-day police remand while detectives produced him before the court.

Source: The Daily Star

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