Readymade garment (RMG) workers in the Ashulia-Gazipur factory belt have been staging a demonstration since Monday morning, two days after the reopening of the factories in the wake of the labour unrest following the Savar building collapse that claimed the lives of more than 350 people.
Our correspondent Jamil Khan, reporting from Ashulia, said RMG workers in Ashulia and Gazipur refused to join work and continued to demonstrate demanding capital punishment to Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed eight-storey Rana Plaza, and the arrest of local lawmaker Murad Jang.
The agitation movement kicked off when workers employed in factory units in Shimultola, Jamgora, Narshingpur, Jirabo, Pukurpar, Kathgora, Kumkumari, Kolma, Fulbaria, and Rajabari took to the street at around 8am, Mustafizur Rahman, director of industrial police, told Dhaka Tribune.
The agitated workers said they will not join work until the government checks all the garment buildings and ensures their security.
They also made barricades on the Dhaka-Aricha highway with tree stumps and set those on fire.
Later, a unit of industrial police restricted them from putting another barricade on Dhaka-Tangail highway.
Chase and counter-chase took place between the law enforcers and workers. The workers hurled brick chips at police. Police also shot some rounds of rubber bullets in response.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel were deployed in the readymade garments belt of Narayanganj on Monday morning to avert any untoward incident over the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar, UNB reported.
Quoting deputy commissioner of Narayanganj Monoj Kanti Bora, the news agency said five platoons of BGB members led by Major Pasha will be on guard at the strategic points of the district’s industrial areas.
He said further that BGB members have already started patrolling the city streets to maintain law and order in association with other law enforcing agencies, including police.
The BGB teams have been put on security duty as the factories were reopened on Monday morning, the DC added.
BGB troops will also remain deployed in different readymade garment belts including Tongi and Gazipur.
RMG factories across the country remained closed from Saturday to Sunday following a labour flare-up over the collapse of Rana Plaza that left more than 350 people dead and scores injured.
Several thousand garment workers staged demonstrations blocking different roads and vandalised huge vehicles since after the deadliest building collapse incident on Wednesday.
Garment makers decided to reopen their industrial units Monday after two days of production suspension following the labour unrest.
On Friday, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) announced the shutdown of garment factories after workers carried out vandalism at different industrial units and on the streets across the country, demanding the arrest of building owner and proprietors of five garment factories housed in the building.