Even after three days of the collapse of Rana Plaza, law enforcement agencies are still in the dark about the whereabouts of its owner, Sohel Rana. There are rumours that Rana, who is an influential Jubo League leader in the Savar area, has already escaped to India. The Prime Minister, on Thursday, asked the law enforcers to take all-out efforts to nab Rana.Home minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, on Saturday, said that a ban has been slapped on Rana, barring him from leaving Bangladesh. Orders have also been given so that he is unable to flee, Alamgir added.
Talking to The Independent, senior police officials claimed that they had already launched a massive manhunt, to arrest those responsible for the Rana Plaza tragedy, that claimed 326 lives and injured 400.
Dhaka district police superintendent Mohammad Habibur Rahman told The Independent, “Soon after the incident, and after directions were issued by High Court and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, several special squads, comprising personnel from Detective Branch of the police (DB), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Special Branch (SB), and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have been continuously carrying out raids to nab the responsible.”
“As we are making our best efforts to arrest the suspects. We have already detained eight relatives of prime suspect Sohel Rana, and arrested two garments units’ owners and two engineers,” Rahman added.
ATM Habibur Rahman, the legal and media wing director of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), told The Independent, “RAB personnel always provide all types of support to local law enforcers, to curb crime. Similarly, we have also been conducting drives to nab those responsible for the Rana Plaza incident.”
As per available information, Rana was very close to local Awami League lawmaker, Touhid Jong Murad, widely known as Murad Jong.
Rana was a general-secretary of Savar Poura Chhatra League, a post he got in 1998. Though his education is only up to Class VIII, he held that post for a long time. Later, Rana was nominated as the joint convener of Savar Poura Jubo League, as he had the blessings of Murad Jong.
Though the lawmaker denied his intimacy with Rana, a large number of old posters and festoons can be seen throughout Savar area, where Rana and Murad Jong’s photos are printed next to each other. Rana is mentioned in the posters as the joint convener of Savar Poura Jubo League.
Several Awami League leaders, on conditions of anonymity, said Rana organised and led all anti-hartal rallies and processions, under the leadership of Murad Jong, in Savar area. He was also preparing to organise an anti-hartal procession, on the day of the collapse.
Regarding Rana’s political career, an influential Awami League leader said he was not a politician. Rana served as a cadre of Murad Jong, who, like many others, inducted him to the party post, in exchange of money.
According to information, Rana is the son of Abdul Khaleque, a resident of Singair upazila under Manikganj district.
Courtesy of The Independent