Sohel Rana has been crowned the most despicable man in the country. The man is beneath contempt and entirely liable for the enormous suffering his tumbled plaza continues to cause, but perhaps it requires mentioning that he is only as contemptible as the people who patronised him.
Sohel Rana didn’t appear in a vacuum. In fact, it’s unlikely that he would have been anything at all, were it not for the fact that he was one of Savar MP Tawhid Jang Murad’s men.
Jang has tried his best to disassociate himself from Rana, claiming that he doesn’t know him, but pictures of them together makes this less than credible. The fact that he inaugurated Rana Plaza and called Rana immediately after the collapse, before sending his men in to rescue him, makes it a complete lie.
We ran a report about Tawhid Jang Murad on April 29, which shows the Awami Leaguer’s links to various illicit activities. The vice-president of Dhaka District Awami League calls Jang the ‘godfather’ of Savar. He has his finger in a number of pies, including construction, real estate and garments.
Jang takes a commission from all construction work in Savar. He fills up lakes and sells plots like the one Rana Plaza was built on. He controls the surplus trade of factories like the ones housed in Rana Plaza.
Sohel Rana was one of Jang’s men, and a particularly nefarious one, but the fact that Jang has men like him all across the constituency is the real cause for concern.
The Awami League has distanced itself from Rana and has denied all claims that Rana was a Jubo Leaguer. But will they also be able to deny having anything to do with Tawhid Jang Murad, an AL MP?
For the moment however, making Sohel Rana enemy number 1, might provide them with just enough of a smokescreen to evade the issue.