Monday, July 15, 2024

GOC responds to ‘story’ on Reshma’s rescue

Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, general officer commanding (GOC) of the Nine Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army, said that foreign and local cliques were actively conspiring to break the chain of command and image of the Bangladesh Army as well as tarnishing the country’s image by publishing concocted news at home and abroad. Sarwardy, also area commander of Savar, said that The Sunday Mirror report on Reshma’s rescue 17 days after the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24 was “false and baseless”.
“It was a pre-planned conspiracy to tarnish the honour and dignity of Bangladesh and to belittle the Bangladesh Army, whose officers and soldiers played key roles in the rescue operation for 21 days,” he told reporters at a press conference held at the Press Information Department (PID) of the Secretariat on Wednesday.
Sarwardy, who personally led the rescue operation, urged the government to take legal action against the people involved in this conspiracy. He also advised the government to demand compensation from these people.
Warning the perpetrators, the General said, “Don’t play foul or it will hit you back.”
He also urged the people of the country to work towards saving Bangladesh’s image from being tainted by foreigners.
“When we stand beside the people, they feel confident. There is no reason to doubt our work,” he added.
The General also said: “Since the start of the rescue operation at Rana Plaza, a vested quarter had campaigned against our work, calling for withdrawal of the army in blogs. Now, they’re telling that the Army involvement was wrong.”
National and international media outlets had witnessed the rescue of Reshma, who was yet to be fully recovered from the trauma, he added.
The Sunday Mirror reporter, who had been arrested in South Africa recently, had entered Bangladesh on a visit visa, and wrote false and untrue report without talking to anyone, the General said.
The collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24 claimed a total of 1,127 lives and injured many.
The Army and the volunteers rescued a total of 2,438 people alive, while they recovered 1,115 dead bodies.
The last survivor to be pulled out of the debris was Reshma, who was rescued on the 17th day, and the last body recovered from the rubble was a girl named Shahinur.
A total of 291 people are undergoing treatment in different hospitals, while 59 bodies are kept at morgues. A total of 234 unidentified bodies were buried after matching their DNA samples.
Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, his father Abdul Khaleque and officials of three garment factories were arrested on charges of violation of building code and wilful negligence.

-With The Independent input

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