PM urges opposition to withdraw May 2 hartal

She slams forcing workers to enter factories in fragile Savar building

News - PM urges opposition to withdraw May 2 hartal
 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday requested the opposition BNP to call off their May 2 hartal considering the humanitarian ground as the rescue operation at Savar is going on.

“It’s very disheartening that the opposition has called the hartal at a time when the rescue operation, treatment and rehabilitation works are going on,” she said after her visit to Enam Medical College Hospital and Savar CMH where a good number of Savar building collapse victims undergoing treatment.

The BNP-led 18 party called the countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal demanding the arrest of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, garment factory owners and other issues for May 2.

“I would request them to withdraw the hartal and donate the money that will be spent on enforcing the hartal,” Hasina said questioning the reasons behind calling the shutdown programme . “For whom this hartal is, whom will it help actually?”

She mentioned that the owners of the building and the garment factories have already arrested, but there had been no arrest when such accident occurred during BNP’s rule and the army-backed caretaker regime.

Hasina said it was very much unlawful act to force garment workers to enter the factories despite knowing that the building was in great danger. “No one will be speared,” she categorically said.

The Prime Minister said she told the BGMEA and BKMEA leaders when they called on her after the incident that the government will not spare the garment factory owners and they would be arrested.

About the Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, she said had he been able to flee to India the government would bring him back. “We would surely bring him back, no way to escape. We also talked to the authorities there.”

About the rehabilitation of the workers of the factories housed in Rana Plaza, Hasina said Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Products and Footwear Exporters’ Association will employ 1,000 workers from here in their factories. “No one will remain unemployed… garment owners have assured me of employing the workers in their factories,” Hasina said.

Regarding those who have turned disabled, the Prime Minister said the government will arrange family savings certificate for them. “The government will also arrange artificial organs for them.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza and the injured people undergoing treatment at Enam Medical College Hospital at Savar in the morning.

The Prime Minister arrived at the tragedy scene around 9.35 am to see the rescue operation and talked to the people concerned there and inquired about the rescue works.

She asked them to complete the rescue operation with utmost sincerity at the complex that collapsed on Wednesday morning, causing huge casualties.

Some 381 bodies were recovered from the debris of the Rana Plaza as of Monday morning as the death toll from the tragedy continues to go up.  Of the bodies, 370 were handed over to their relatives. Besides, some 2,444 people were rescued alive from the rubble of the building.

Earlier, the Prime Minister went to the Enam Medical College Hospital to see the injured undergoing treatment there.

Enam Medical College & Hospital Chairman Dr Md Enamur Rahman received the premier on her arrival at the hospital about 9am. Health and Family Welfare Minister AFM Ruhal Huq accompanied the Prime Minister.

Hasina talked to the injured people and gave Tk 10,000 to each of them apart from a saree or a lungi.

She expressed her deep sympathy and affection for the injured and assured them that the government would take care of their treatment and rehabilitation.

While talking to the doctors and other staff of the hospital, the Prime Minister thanked them all for their all-out support to the Savar victims. She asked them to ensure medical facilities to the injured and said the government will provide all-out support to the hospital in this regard.

Later, Sheikh Hasina went to the Savar CMH to see the injured people admitted there. At the CMH, she also gave Tk 10,000 to each of injured person and one saree or a lungi.

Earlier on Sunday, members of elite force Rab arrested Sohel Rana, the owner of the collapsed Rana Plaza, from Benapole in Jessore, foiling his bid to flee to India.

Police also arrested four garment owners in connection with the disastrous building collapse.

Source: UNB Connect

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