Factories resume production
The Ashulia industrial belt on the outskirts of the capital returned to normal yesterday after a two-day shutdown for violence over a rumour of a garment worker’s death.
Workers of all readymade garment factories in the area joined work yesterday morning.
During the agitation programmes on Saturday and Sunday, workers vandalised over 40 factories, damaged 75 vehicles and blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway for hours.
They were also locked into clashes with law enforcers, in which nearly 200 people including policemen sustained injuries and a female worker, Kamrun Nahar Golapi, was run over by a bus while she was trying to escape police action.
Against this backdrop, owners of some 300 factories suspended their production, fearing further damage by the workers.
Industrial police filed a case against some 4,500 workers Sunday night in connection with the violence. Golapi’s husband filed a murder case against the driver of an unidentified vehicle.
Thousands of workers joined work between 8:30am and 9:30am, the factory authorities said, adding the operations of the factories went smoothly.
Meanwhile, Salman Hossain, whose false death news had spread and caused the violence, was seen present yesterday at his workplace at Saqib Poly Industries, a sister concern of Ha-Meem Group, at Banglabazar in Ashulia.
Salman, a storekeeper of Saqib Poly Industries, was handed over to police on Thursday after he scuffled with a director of the company over a silly mater inside the factory. When he was absent from work on Saturday, a rumour spread that he had been killed and his body had been concealed.
The members of police, Rapid Action Battalion and Armed Police Battalion, who had been deployed to deal with the situation in the area, were withdrawn yesterday morning, witnesses said.
Badrul Alam, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said the law enforcers had been removed at the objection of a section of workers.
“They [workers] were in fear of arrests because of the heavy presence of police. So, they were removed,” the OC said, adding the workers had been assured that none of them would be arrested.
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said, “Normalcy was restored at Ashulia when the production of the factories resumed without any untoward incident.”
No clash was reported yesterday, he added.
Earlier, the BGMEA chief at a press conference on Sunday said garment makers had agreed to reopen their production units from yesterday upon an assurance of security by Home Minister Shahara Khatun.
-With The Daily Star input