• Sunday, Aug 09, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:34 pm

Police yet to make any arrest over Buriganga launch capsize after 7 days

  • Published at 05:01 pm July 6th, 2020
File photo: People on boats near the site of the launch capsize as divers conduct rescue operation at the Buriganga River near Dhaka's Sadarghat Md Manik/Dhaka Tribune

The horrific June 29 incident killed 34 people

Seven days after the launch capsize incident in Buriganga, the police are yet to arrest anyone in connection to it.

Khandoker Faridul Islam, superintendent of police (SP - Dhaka region) of river police, told Dhaka Tribune that they have conducted several raids in nearby areas, but have not yet been able to make any arrests.

Thirty-four people were killed on the morning of June 29 when the Morning Bird launch, coming from Munshiganj, sank in the Buriganga after colliding with a larger launch, name the Mayur-2, near Farashganj Ghat in Dhaka.

A case was filed against seven known and several unknown individuals at South Keraniganj police station in connection with the incident the next day.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and the Shipping Ministry formed two committees to investigate the incident.

Apart from launch owner Mosaddek Hanif Soad, the six others named in the case were members of the Mayur-2 launch's crew. They were identified as Master Abul Bashar, Master Zakir Hossain, driver Shipon Hawlader, Shakil Hossain, Hridoy, and Sukani Nasir Mridha.

However, none of them has been found or caught by police since the horrific incident.

South Keraniganj police OC Mohammad Shahjaman said that the river police are currently investigating the case.

SP Faridul said that the police are trying to arrest the accused with help from police headquarters, adding that they are confident of making the arrests soon.

When asked if any proof of negligence of the capsized launch was found, he said: “All the documents of the Morning Bird are in order. Our preliminary investigations indicated that the authorities of the Mayur-2 were responsible for the accident.

"We will also investigate if another launch played a role in the incident.”

He added that two crew members of the Morning Bird lost their lives in the incident. Another, named Motaleb, was seemingly able to swim ashore, although he has since informed his employers that he is no longer willing to work, making himself unavailable for further contact.

Meanwhile, Rafiqul Islam Khan, convener of one the probe committees and a Shipping Ministry joint secretary (development), told Dhaka Tribune that they have spoken to some witnesses.

However, it was not possible to question all the staffers and the owner of the Mayur-2 since they have gone into hiding following the incident. “We will submit our report within a day or two,” he added.

So far, all concerned authorities have mostly blamed the Mayur-2 for causing the incident.

Footage from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in Sadarghat and eyewitnesses of the accident also supported that view.

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