At least 18, including workers and a policeman, were injured in the clash that took place on Monday afternoon, Inspector Amjad Hossain of Gazipur Industrial Police told the Dhaka Tribune
Workers of a garments factory in Gazipur have vandalized their factory and clashed with police while demonstrating for payment of their overdue wages.
At least 18, including workers and a policeman, were injured in the clash that took place on Monday afternoon, Inspector Amjad Hossain of Gazipur Industrial Police told the Dhaka Tribune.
Gazipur Sadar police station Sub-Inspector (SI) Bashir Ahmed and the Intramex factory’s Quality Controller Abdul Alim were both shot in the arm. Factory workers Marfat Ali, 25, and Mobarak Hossain, 30, were both badly beaten by rods, and received treatment at Shahid Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College Hospital.
The police fired 22 tear shells and 31 shotgun rounds at the workers, according to Assistant Superintendent of Industrial Police-2 (Gazipur) Mokbul Hossain.
The incident took place at the factory of Intramex Group in Lakshmipura area.
The factory has not paid their office staff for five and their workers for seven months, workers said. After failing to clear their dues on several deadlines, factory authorities had finally declared Sunday to be the date of payment.
When the company did not pay on Sunday, workers went on a strike and held protests against the factory owners, vandalizing the factory. Later, police came in and brought the situation under control.
On Monday morning, the workers continued their strike and protests, and were joined by the office staff. The angry mob then started vandalizing the factory premises. Around 3pm, the factory’s managing director arrived under police protection and declared that the dues would be paid on October 24.
However, the protesters refused to accept this and demanded that the dues be cleared by Monday, eventually becoming hostile towards the factory owners and the police. The law enforcers charged at the workers with batons, who retaliated by throwing brickbats and vandalizing the factory.
Skirmishes between police and protesters continued when the latter tried to blockade the Dhaka-Gazipur highway. The workers also vandalized some vehicles on the road.
According to the factory’s quality inspector Aman Ullah and worker Shahidul Islam, the factory had previously gone back on its promise of paying the workers their dues several times until staff members and workers were fed up.