A Dhaka court has framed charges against 13 people in two cases filed over the deadly fire at the factory of Tazreen Fashions, including its owner Delwar Hossain and his wife Mahmuda Aktar.
Dhaka District and Sessions Judge SM Kuddus Zaman framed the charges after rejecting he discharge petition filed by the accused on Thursday afternoon.
The court fixed October 1 for recording deposition of witnesses of the fire incident.
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After framing charges, the court sent the case documents to First Additional District and Sessions Judge Court for trial.
The other accused are Engineer Mahbubul Morshed, Production Manager Mobarak Hossain Manju, Factory Manager Abdur Razzak, Quality Manager Shahiduzzaman, Manager (admin) Dulal Uddin, Store in-Charges Hamidul Islam and Al Amin, Security In-Charges Al Amin and Anisur Rahman, guard Rana and loader Shamim Miah.
The incident, the worst industrial fire in the country’s history, happened on November 24, 2012, killing at least 112 workers and injuring scores of others.
On December 22, 2013, CID Inspector AKM Mohsinuzzaman Khan, also investigation officer of the cases, submitted homicide charges with the court against the 13 accused.
According to the charge sheet, Delwar and Mahmuda constructed the building following a faulty plan with the help of the accused engineer and illegally used the ground-floor walkway as a warehouse.
There was no fire exit in the factory, although a provision of the labour law stipulates that there must be two exits in every factory.
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The factory was built a mile away from the main road, making it very difficult for fire service vehicles to enter the factory compound.
Fire alarms went off as soon as the fire broke out, and the panicked workers tried to leave the factory before the fire spread. But the accused managers and security guards told them it was nothing serious; they insisted that workers get back to work, even though smoke was billowing from the spot where the fire had started, the charge sheet said.
After the deadly incident, two cases were filed, one of which was filed by police with Ashulia police station, accusing 15 staff members for murder by negligence.
The second case was filed against Delwar and 30 others on May 29 with Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Court by Abdul Matin, brother of the missing victim Rehan.